Since our society equates happiness with youth, we often assume that sorrow, quiet desperation, and hopelessness go hand in hand with getting older. They don’t. Emotional pain or numbness are symptoms of living the wrong life, not a long life. – Martha Beck
Isn’t it amazing how an old dog can still act and behave like a puppy even though their physical state won’t necessarily allow them to do so? Dogs do that because they have no concept of age, age is simply a state of mind. Us humans, we have conditioned ourselves to believe that age is a limitation and refuse to break free from it. Provided they are fed, loved and reasonably taken care of, dogs will be the happiest and youngest senior citizens on the plant; we need to be more like dogs.
Growing old is inevitable, we live on borrowed time. All of us are built to break down and like all things organic, we walk around with expiry dates attached to us. There is hope though. Growing old and getting old are two completely different worlds. While you cannot control growing old, you can control getting old. That is your brain’s job.
By taking care of your body and doing your best to preserve what health you have will make the growing old process go a little slower. Have you ever thought of exercising your brain? The more I reflect on the laziness that I had knowingly placed on my body and mind over the last few years the more I realized I was allowing myself to get old. My body was getting old, but my mind was getting even older.
I was starting to become comfortable with being unable to climb stairs as efficiently as I once did. I was starting to accept the accumulating fat around my midsection was just a normal plot in life. I was starting to allow the slipping of my memory to be brushed off as just being tired. I was ready to believe that metabolism was only meant for the 20 and under crowd. I was willing to accept my age and allowed it to start degrading my soul. I was becoming cranky and creaky. I’m not even 40 yet but I was cruising the highway to become that 40-year old that looks and acts like someone way older.
Being surrounded by motivated people who defy getting old lit the fire under my ass. After a brief comparison of these people who seemingly defy age to other people of equal age but seemed years older, convinced me that getting old is truly just a state of mind and I was just not about to give up defeat. There is no denying the fact that it takes hard work to stay in shape. It takes more willpower to remain active. It requires unwavering resolve to eat healthy as our bodies will not tolerate chemicals as easily as it once did. Reading, sleeping, eating clean and regular hard and sweaty exercise have to be non-negotiable in our lives. When we combine a healthy body with a youthful, positive and open mindset then sprinkle in a little wisdom, life makes a lot more sense. Your outlook gets clearer, your aura of positivity grows exponentially and eventually you defy the act of getting older.
Stay young my friends. All it takes is a little effort.