- Aging & Longevity
Opinion Topic: Age - A Number, or A State of Mind?
With each day that passes, our bodies face a slow and steady decline. It doesn't happen overnight, but rather over a period of time. Many of us are familiar with the infamous cliche's in regards to aging. "You're only as old as your feel." "Age ain't nothing but a number" etc.
As I've progressed in age and wisdom during my time here on this Earth, I've noticed a constant - at least from people that I'm around. Age as a number itself is a very important factor to them. However, it never really dawned on me how important to others age number wise, and age body wise until recently. Okay okay - I know you're probably already tired of me beating around the bush on this topic, so I'm bout to air out what I mean.
Turning Another Year Older.
Last month(March), I celebrated my 32nd year on this planet. Now depending on what type of person you are, you may become excited whenever your birthday rolls around. On the flip side, you have some people, who oddly enough in my opinion, hate to see their birthdays come. The thought of turning a year older scares many people. I really don't get this, especially since you can't do anything to change it.
As far as my own view on birthdays, I always enjoy my birthdays - but I don't see them as anything special like I once did when I was younger. It's kinda like Christmas in a way; You enjoy it more when you're a kid but as you become older, you realize the true meaning of it. Therefore, you view it as just another day. Not speaking for everyone, but that's my view on that. Okay, back to the topic. So my birthday was last month, and all I heard from people was; "Dang man you're old", "You're getting old" etc. Uh yea, but no.
The way some of these people were talking, you would think that I was turning 100. What was even more amazing to me was the fact the the majority of the people saying these things were either a few years older than me, or around my age. Now lets analyze this. So if turning 32 makes a person old, what does that make a person turning lets say, 60? Ancient? All of this talk kinda got to me a bit, and I found myself wanting to be away from people harping on how they're so old, despite the fact that they haven't even made it to 50 yet.
You're Only As Old As You Feel?
I know and recognize that it's impossible to beat or turn back the clock. We're all going to become older in age, mind, and body if we continue to live. However, I personally view age as a state of mind, rather than just a number. Now before you ask how is that possible, allow me to explain my reasoning for feeling this way.
Although I'm 32 years old, people that don't know my age believe that I'm in my 20's. As a matter of fact, I took a trip to a casino on my birthday, and was carded by a security guard. He couldn't believe that I was even in my 30's. I used to get frustrated at the thought of getting carded, but I've learned to view it as a compliment.
Some people have naturally good genes, but you'd be surprised at how little things can keep you looking younger than what you are. Regular exercise, staying away from alcohol and smoking, and a good night's rest are invaluable. Oh yea, there is another thing called 'stress' that can take it's toll on you. Although it can be hard not to stress in these difficult times we're facing, it's important not to let it tear you down completely.
I live by the saying "You're only as old as you feel." That is honestly one of my favorite slogans. I feel like this; If you feel like you're old, then you're probably going to act and feel that way. If you feel like you're not old, then your mind and actions will convey that as well. There are people out there in their 70's and 80's, who are able to run marathons, or walk for longer periods of time than people younger than they are.
As a matter of fact, I recently read about a man who was 101 years old, and ran a 10K race. I'm 70 years his youth, and I've yet to run a 10K. There are people out there who don't let age as number stop them from doing the things they want later on in their lives. However, we have people in their 20's and 30's acting as if life is completely over for themselves. All of this because you're listening to what society and other people are telling you? I don't want that to be me.
In my personal opinion, age as a number isn't what makes you wiser. I feel that circumstances and situations that we're put in, and how we react to them are what make us wiser. For example, there are people out there who are in their teens that are probably wiser than some of us. Maybe they came from a rough background, or had to grow up at a young age. The fact remains that we're never too old to learn from someone younger than we are, so it's important to listen.
Although I'm against age as a number, I won't count out that there are instances where age does matter in life. I think that most of you already know what I mean, so there is no need to delve into that. Now that I've gotten all of that out, I would love to see what others think in regards to aging and getting older. All ideas, feedback, and viewpoints are welcome. Thanks for reading.