Young At Heart

My thoughts on aging seem to have increased in direct proportion to my advancing age. Now in my fifties it’s pretty much a daily thought. Prior to this, I was too damn busy to notice: growing up, going to school, being a kid, a teenager, a young adult and then later, raising a family, working full-time, etc. It was all I could do to keep up with the proverbial rat race!Old car

The average lifespan for a white female living in the United States is 81. So, if I’m lucky enough to live that long, I’m already 15 years beyond the halfway point. Why didn’t I realize that when I turned 40, and could have begun some “preventative maintenance? 

Apparently, I wasn’t paying attention…yet.

The years teach much which the days never knew. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gone are the days when I never thought about growing older. Now those thoughts happen quite often, thanks to various reminders:

IMG_3212

  • Creaky knees
  • Looking in the mirror
  • Stiff legs upon rising in the morning
  • Increasing “senior moments”
  • Looking in the mirror
  • Gray hair
  • Adult children
  • Wrinkles
  • Menopot
  • Looking in the mirror
  • My peer group in the obituary

 

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? ~ Satchel Paige

Despite all these physical signs of aging, I can honestly say that I don’t feel 50-something. Heck, I don’t feel 3o or 40-something. I’m still somewhere back in my twenties when I first “came of age.” That was when I gained the right to vote and drink, after dropping out of college and taking a full-time job, and before marriage and children. 

Coming of age in the 70s lead me to a more liberal, open mind. I wanted to learn about other people and cultures, minus the prejudices and stereotypes that I grew up with. I believed in education, protecting the environment, the free exchange of ideas, and the collective good. Almost 40 years later I still believe in all these things. Why, I haven’t changed much at all!

I forget my age. I want to join in the social gatherings of my children, but then remind myself that when I was their age, I didn’t want to party with my parents. I feel like a twenty-something, trapped in a fifty-something body….sometimes.

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. ~Samuel Ullman

There are definitely times when I show my age:

Old Plymouth

  • Driving within the speed limit
  • Struggling with technology
  • Making small talk with strangers
  • Saying hello to people I walk past
  • Reminiscing about manual typewriters vs copy & paste
  • Complaining about too many usernames & passwords to remember

I believe the art of staying young is to exercise one’s mind and body, eating healthy and avoiding the vices. Keeping up with world and current events and to never stop learning. Remembering the passion of our youth and doing whatever it takes to keep that alive. Growing in all ways possible, each and everyday. That’s what I’m trying to do. Trying… meaning that I enjoy a few drinks, an occasional greasy cheeseburger, and driving over the speed limit…but only when I’m running late!

 

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Young at Heart

12 thoughts on “Young at Heart

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