When I was younger – much younger – I couldn’t wait to become an adult so I could do what I wanted and not have to listen to parents, teachers, etc. What a surprise that was to find that parents would be replaced by spouses and teachers replaced by bosses! Still, you have to go through young and stupid to hopefully reach old and wise. Guess that’s why there are many who would like to have some of that youth back but retain the wisdom gained from their life experience.
In my teens, I looked older than my age. This allowed me to do things that were “taboo” like get served in a bar and date older guys. Thanks to some really good “mom genes”, as I got older, I manage begin to look younger than my age. (My mother at 80-something still looked in her 60s.) At 35, I was carded for alcohol in a Kroger store! Needless to say that made my day!
Now, I’m 69 years young, looking to turn 70 in about six months. I realize I don’t look like I’m in my 40s even anymore, but feedback from both friends and strangers has left me with the pleasure of knowing I still don’t look my age. While I do acknowledge some really fantastic genes, is there more to this? Well, maybe.
Like so many other things in my life, I seem to have a “strange”, unconventional way of looking at things, including age. While I had friends start to freak out at turning 30, and then 40, then 50, etc., I’ve always viewed it as just a number. It marks the number of times the Earth has orbited the Sun with me on it in this incarnation. It reveals to me how many years it has taken me to awaken to the reality of why I’m here. Does it speak to how I should look or act? In my mind, it has never meant that. (As a matter of fact, for a while I wore my age as badge of honor because people would be shocked to find I was older than I looked. What fun!)
In this Western culture in the United States, certain ages are benchmarks revealing how you should look, act, and how others should see you. It’s sad to say that these benchmarks are just another form of programming that takes away the freedom to be and do what you want at any age. I’ve never fit into molds of any kind and the more confining they are, the more I rebel with a determined, “NO!” I will be who I choose to be and I don’t need your approval! I guess that’s been my mantra for this lifetime.
The good news, from my perspective, is that more people are beginning to feel that same vibe – be what you feel, not what others say you should be. More people are awakening to the notion that molds are made to be broken and they’re doing just that – breaking them – including those of us who fall into the category of “seniors.”
I know I’ve written about it before, but the message is SO important, especially now. You are a spiritual being having a physical experience. That spiritual being, residing inside the attire of a physical body, is ageless. Think about that for a while…AGELESS.
So how did we get to the place where, firmly implanted in our minds, we believe we only can live 80 or 90 years? Oh, I know, we can get all scientific and talk about disease, plagues, lack of proper nutrition, etc., ad nauseum. The truth of matter will eventually lead us right back to what we firmly believe. That power to take control of your existence, both internally and externally, resides in your mind and heart. What do you truly believe? Why do you believe it? Two very important questions.
And, yes, things like genetics, healthcare, nutrition, and more can play a role in how long you live, if that’s what you believe in. There are people who have lived into their 90s and to be over 100 and paid little attention to any of these things. The difference? Perhaps they just believed Life had so much joy and adventure to offer that dying wasn’t an option. Or maybe they heard the beat of that drummer that only they could hear and decided to march with it, ignoring all the conventional warnings and mandates about getting older.
Your beliefs send messages to that physical body you’re residing in. The body then responds. If you believe you are always sick, then sick it is. If you believe you look 80 when you’re only 65, then that’s what you will begin to see in the mirror. On the other hand, if that ageless spiritual being inside has managed to get you to listen and you decide aging shall happen very slowly and good health is a given for you, then this will be your reality. It’s your choice. Always was. You are just that powerful.
As for me, well, I expect to live quite a long while yet. I truly believe that. I still don’t feel like I’m 69. I don’t know that I ever will. I also believe that even on the day I finally decide to depart this life journey, I will be taking care of myself, in my own home. Am I crazy? Perhaps from your perspective I am, but for me this is a truth. I’m not done here by any stretch of the imagination and, whatever it is I have yet to do, I have to be physically able to do it. It’s just as simple as that.
Here’s to aging gracefully…or…not at all! Here’s to you and making the choice to stay young at heart!