Age is just a number. We can determine at any age to reverse our functional deterioration and live our best years now—with or without our genes’ cooperation. So while we need to admit we’re getting older, it’s our attitude about age that matters. Here’s my advice:
Stop fighting it.
You might wonder how it’s possible to love the aging process, but really it all begins with attitude. I’m not asking you to love the limitations that aging might bring. My younger readers don’t yet know this, but it’s not fun having to stop for a breather while other, younger peers run on ahead of you. It’s not fun having to make more frequent trips to the bathroom. But my older readers can take heart because there’s good news: being chronologically gifted doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be young! Isn’t that a relief? Aren’t you glad to hear that it’s okay to be old—to act your age? And for younger readers, there’s good news, too. Being chronologically gifted means it’s okay to get older. You don’t have to cling to your youth as though there’s nothing left to look forward to once the gray hairs outnumber the colored ones. In fact, on that day, you’ll actually have more to enjoy about life than you can possibly imagine from where you are right now.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that older people can just aggressively tell the world, “I’m old…deal with it!” The world is going to move forward with or without us as we age. If we want to continue having a meaningful opportunity to participate in life, then we’re going to need a healthy mind and a healthy body. We won’t always be young, but we’ll always be growing. So let’s focus less on the number our age represents, and more on the fact that we’re continuously evolving— all the way to our last breath. This need for meaningful development is something that 20-year-olds and 80-year-olds have in common. In their own, age-appropriate ways, both groups are on their way to becoming a better version tomorrow of who they are today.
That’s right. No matter what our age is, we only thrive inasmuch as we continue growing into better, more well-rounded people. I use that word “better” in its basic qualitative sense. Each time we acquire a piece of knowledge or improve upon a skill that helps us deepen relationships, appreciate our experiences, and leave a more robust legacy, we’ve made ourselves better people than we were before. It doesn’t matter how small the change is as long as it’s a true change. Period.
And that’s the goal we have to keep before us if we hope to live a longer, more meaningful and rewarding life. That’s they way the chronologically gifted live. We have to get up each morning, asking ourselves what we think, say and do that will help us go to bed that night feeling good about ourselves.