As I was searching for my quote for this post I came across 3 on two consecutive pages that made me think about how we think about our ages. I know I for one still think, in my mind, that I am in my twenties. Why twenty something? I don’t know but that is where I am. My body may be 50 but my brain is just not there. I know that I am not the only one that suffers this delusion but maybe it helps me from the your-only-as-old-as-you-think perspective.
A 16-year-old said, “I’ve learned that if these are supposed to be the best years of my life, I’m in for one bumpy ride.” I think at 16 I probably would have thought the same thing. Sure, there are some 16-years-olds that are living the life I guess, but I was not really one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t any more miserable than the next girl at that age, but have never wished to be that age again since moving on. What a time of angst and just feeling, somehow, like you did not quite fit in.
A 50-year-old observed, “I’ve learned that middle age is the best time of my life—so far.” I think I would agree at this age too. I really do love where I am (see 50 In the Rearview Mirror). I think at 50 I’ve learned to enjoy the moment more and not worry about what others might think of me so much (What you think of me is really none of my business!). I am not wrapped up in the external trappings of life, though admittedly some of them are nice. I just know that they are not what really matters in life. Were I to lose the trappings but still have my family and friends, I would know that I have the most important things.
And still, my brain thinks I’m 20-something……
And then the 79-year-old who said, “I’ve learned that old age is not a defeat but a victory, not a punishment but a privilege.” I hope that when I am 79 I can agree with this one too! How great to feel that it was a victory to make it that far (and beyond!). Maybe I will even still think I am 20-something. I hope that I can consider it a privilege as well to have had the opportunity for so many more experiences
Staying young is really a matter of the mind. To be sure, our bodies may begin to protest about some of the things that our minds still, no matter how erroneously, think we can do. We may try things only to find out we just can’t anymore, but that’s OK.
When I go skiing, which I learned to do in my forties, there is a table in the lodge reserved for seniors. The people I see sitting there are not just in their sixties but some are in the seventies and eighties. I’m sure that most of them can’t ski like they used to, but they are still up there doing it. I hope that’s me!
I hope I can continue to make ‘now’ the best time in my life; the ‘now’ when I’m 60 and the ‘now’ when I’m 80. I hope that I will continue to do things that make reaching new milestones feel like a victory and that I will feel privileged to still be here. I hope that I continue to have things to share and things to learn in life.
I hope when I come to the end I will be able to look back and say that I had the time of my life (all 20-something years of it)!
On the journey with you…….Kathy
(Quotes: Ages 16, 50 and 79- The Complete Live and Learn and Pass It On, by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)