The other day I was chatting with a friend about a colleague and when I mentioned that the person was 50, she said, “Oh, they are old.” I nearly fell out of my chair. OLD? How is 50 OLD? I did a quick calculation of how far away I was from 50 and then turned to my friend and stated, “50 is not OLD. I’m only 16 years away from 50!” Mind you, I was speaking to a 25 year old who is 9 years my junior, but still, how can 50 be old?
This is obviously a classic case of relativity. To a 20 year old, who is 30 years away from 50, 50 seems old. Yet at 34, 50 seems much closer…real close to be honest. Hence, it couldn’t possibly be old.
This got me thinking. I’m sure you know some 50 year olds who act ‘old’, while others seem extremely young. Similarly, there are 75 year olds who seem ancient, while other 75 year olds seem very youthful. Translation: Age is chronological and as a result, is a number, while being youthful or old is a state, and NOT a number.
So, how old are you? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you sedentary?
- Do you get out and about quite often?
- Do you feel sluggish or lack energy?
- Do you feel energized and want to conquer the world?
Perceived Physical Limitations:
- Are you full of excuses for why you can’t do things or feel limited by your health?
- Do you find ways to push through physical challenges or ailments so that you can continue to do things you love and enjoy?
- Do you tend to tune out or monopolize conversations?
- Do you actively participate during conversations, both contributing AS WELL AS actively listening to others you speak with?
Level of Awareness:
- Do you often feel ‘lost’ or confused or unaware of what is going on around you?
- Do you feel highly aware of what is going on around you?
Interest in Learning:
- Do you feel that you know everything you need to know?
- Do you feel like there is always something new to learn and pursue new interests?
If you answered yes to most of the first questions, your state may be ‘old’. If you answered yes to most of the second questions, chances are that your state is youthful. For those of you in the first group, don’t despair. Although you may never be like you were at 18, you have the power to be more youthful. Try these things:
- Physical Activity: You don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to be ‘young’. That said, it is important to keep yourself mobile. Get out and moving as often as you can.
- Energy Levels: Make sure you are eating a healthy diet that integrates proper balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Get enough sleep and be as active as possible.
- Perceived Physical Limitations: Although our bodies can become less agile and a bit limited with age, it doesn’t mean that an active life has to end. Don’t make excuses for why you can’t do things. Instead, keep a positive and ‘Can Do’ attitude. And if certain activities are painful, avoid those and find new ones that don’t cause as much discomfort.
- Conversation Skills: Communicate with others in deep and meaningful ways. Make sure that you actively listen as much as you contribute. You’ll get more out of the conversation.
- Level of Awareness: To stay alert, continue to put yourself in mentally stimulating situations that cause you to ‘respond’, using your mind and motor skills. Play games and do puzzles to keep your mind active (Sudoku and cross-word puzzles are great for this).
- Interest in Learning: Continual learning through life helps to keep your mind challenged and as a result, youthful. Read, take classes at a local college or pick up new hobbies to keep you growing.
How do YOU stay youthful?
- What is a Healthy diet?
- The Importance of Sleep
- Are you Living the Life you Imagined?
- Calculate your Nutritional Requirements
- My Birthday…What’s in a Number?