Aging... A life choice.
Inspired by the writing of fellow "hubber", seafarer mama, I begin my writing. I sat this morning, reading the wonderfully crafted words that caused me to think about staying young forever. I remembered my father asking me, at my last birthday, if I felt 52. My response was quick and honest. I told him that I did not feel my age. He commented that he and my mother did not see me as 52 either. My actions and the way I live my life made them see me as someone much younger than my years. What a wonderful compliment to be given by someone I admire and respect so much.
Why the aging process slowed for me is not a magicians trick nor the work of anything more than the way I look at life. A saying I created from my mind stays with me, always. "Getting older is life... Aging is a Life choice. I choose to stay young, for-ever." I have never looked at the number that symbolises my age. I have lived each day with wonder and curiosity. I find myself asking the same questions today, that I asked myself many years ago. When did the Dinosaurs walk the earth? Why can you only smell the fabulous fragrance of grass after it is freshly mowed? If I plant a tree upside down in the ground, will it grow to China? Silly questions, but for certainty, the questions of a young child.
We age in body because time makes it so. Some of us age faster because of the work we do or the elements and environment that surround us. That is the aging of our body. Whether I think of myself as being 52 or not, there Are days that my body reminds me I am not 10 or 15 or even 30 any more. I could allow that to slow me down a bit. I could avoid doing such things as playing 6 games of volleyball, looking around me and realizing I am the only one that is plus 30, playing the game. It is my choice to allow myself to grow older, something I am simply not o.k. to do. A little "Ben-Gay" here and a little warm water from a shower, washes away the effects of 52 years of beating my body up. And then, I am 15 again or 25 in mind and in spirit.
How do I stay young inside this body? It is all about how you live life and what you do. If your mind does not see you as 52, then you will not be 52. I use that age only because it is where I am at on the "age" scale. That number could be anything from zero to one hundred. Engaging in daily activities such as walking and gardening and fishing are just some of the ways that I stay young. But none of those things keep me young at heart unless I allow them too. You have to breathe in life and be sure to spend as much of it laughing and playing, just as you did when you were a youngster. Taking time to look very close at a caterpillar as it makes it's way across a watermelon leaf, is something that keeps you young.
I love to laugh and smile and at times, I am as loud as a child. Using my "inside" voice isn't always something I do. After 25 years of marriage, helping to raise two daughters, losing the love of my life, I began my life, or perhaps I should say, continued my life with a lady. Did I do this to stay young longer? Was the idea of raising two young daughters again a way of holding on to my youth? Quite the opposite. I am where I am today because I never let go of being young. The age difference had no effect on me because I am young at heart. Life with youngsters is exactly where I feel inside, I am. Not being o.k. to see my age and allow my actions to slow or change because of a number, fits me well.
Walking along a path in the forest or along the shore of a lake, asking myself the same questions I asked when I was a younger age, keeps the mind active. So important to how you feel inside, is what you do on the out-side. Marveling at the beauty of a rainbow in the spray of the hose, dipping my face into the water and drinking from the hose keeps me young in heart. Waiting for near dark and chasing fire-flys to put in a jar is just another aspect of being young inside. We don't always choose to be 50+. That is something that comes because another year has passed. Deciding to be youthful and to live life as if you have forever left is a choice you make.
When you are young, you believe you have a million forever's to live. There is no rush to finish anything because tomorrow will be another day, and the next one and the one after that will be there, waiting for you to add to the story you are living. If you think you are getting older, then I assure you, you Will grow older and you will feel the effects of time, inside and outside. Think like a child or young adult and you will feel like that. We often age our selves simply by not going out and living life with laughter and smiles and "inside" voices being forgotten. You make that decision on your own. For me, I choose to stay young forever. I will continue to chase fire-flys and look closely at that caterpillar. I will ask a million questions and be awed and intrigued by the smell of fresh cut grass. And I... will remain ageless and youthful, simply because I made the life-choice to do exactly that.