“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.” Andy Rooney
Tomorrow my dad hits another milestone. Under the strict orders of my sister, I’m forbidden from stating his age. Now, I know there’s some silly notion floating around out there that women aren’t supposed to reveal their true age, but is this typically a thing also common among men? Now my dad, if we were to ask him, would probably say he really doesn’t care whether or not the whole world knows how old he is. The people who don’t know him don’t give a damn how old he is, and for the ones who do, they have probably figured it out by now. Ballpark or exact, in these blessed advanced years of life that my dad is in now, does age really matter? In fact, I do believe the older we get, there comes a point where the higher our ages, the higher our badges of honor. Which leaves me wondering, exactly whose age are we protecting here, and why? Since most of the people we know, know how to add two plus two together to get four, and they know how to extrapolate and estimate, the secrecy is futile.
So why are we so afraid of our ages? Isn’t it said somewhere that age is just a number? Personally, I’d like to think that’s true. Our age is the number of years we’ve been on this earth, the number of years we’ve orbited the sun, the number of birthdays we’ve celebrated, whichever way we choose to see it, it is simply just a number. How old we look, and feel is a mindset, a state of mind working together with the health and wellness of our bodies and yes, sometimes even against them. Perceptions and attitudes go a long way and I do understand there are some things beyond our control, but I truly believe how old we feel depends largely on the way we choose to view life as well as how we choose to respond to the changes in our bodies. The way we respond will not be the same for everyone, but there is no right way or wrong way, it’s what makes us happy and content.
So today on the heels of my dad’s eightieth birthday, I can’t help but wonder how old he really feels. I guess I’ll never truly know; I can only assume. But I hope he feels as young and as happy as he looked yesterday surrounded by his family and friends celebrating his birthday.
“Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.” Larry Lorenzoni