“Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.” ~ Muhammad Ali
Repeat after me: self-fulfilling prophecy. That means if you keep going on about something, it will probably happen in due time. And nowhere is that more apparent than when it comes to age. People just love feeling old.
“What? No I don’t! I hate feeling old.”
So you say. But do you ever notice how many things you write off to age, and often quite prematurely?
Take this example: I just heard a 28 year-old friend complain that he can’t run as well as he used to. Why, I asked him?
“I guess I’m just getting old!”
Really? 28 years? Let’s pull out the walker and a glass for the dentures.
I went on to explain to him that his extremely sedentary job may contribute to lack of stamina. And his poor diet. And the fact that he hasn’t run in years.
Conversely, my neighbor Ellie is 74 and ran a marathon last year. She’s slim, trim, quick and bright. And you know what? You don’t hear her blaming her age for anything.
“I decide how I want to feel and don’t worry about my chronological age. Never have.”
Interestingly, she went on to tell me how unhealthy and overweight she used to be and how much younger she feels now, since she began exercising consistently (at 50!). In her case, she feels like she aged backwards, feeling more vital today than 20 years ago.
So watch your mouth…or more importantly, the words that fall out of your mouth. Like Ellie, you can approach a birthday with a sense of vitality not dread. You can replace the boring “I’m getting older” tape loop in your head with “How can I improve my well-being this upcoming year?”
Whether you’re 5 or 50, birthdays are always worth celebrating. (And what better way than to send bright, festive birthday 50th birthday ecards?)
“Age is a matter of feeling not of years.” – George William Curtis