It will happen to everyone. One day you will realize that you are… old. It doesn’t mean you have reached a certain age. But the evidence will be all around you. You catch yourself looking/sounding like your dad/mom. You are surprised to learn there are physical things you can’t do anymore, and a muscle strain that was gone in a week now lingers for over a month. You realize you are invisible to businesses, i.e., you no longer are part of their marketing (except for hearing aids), and they could care less if you think the music is too *&#%$! loud in their restaurant! You have become less concerned about what you wear or say. And that strange growth on your body that appeared overnight, will it go away or is it something to worry about?
On the positive side, if you are retired, you gain a new appreciation of free time, and can pursue interests that have been on the shelf forever. You discover a new type of humor that is absolutely hysterical, humor about old people. You discover that, although your kids didn’t listen to you, your grandkids will. You forget things… but I forgot the positive point I was going to make about that. 😊 You rediscover that person you have been living with for decades, and maybe learn things you never knew. You have more time to read and you acquire new, interesting areas of knowledge. And you begin to contemplate that the road will not go on forever.
Now, let me back up and say, that although the topic is growing old, I think we have to first define what being old might be. And from the above, I think it’s a state of mind, with both positive and negative aspects. So, if that’s where we’re headed, how do we approach the journey of getting there? Well, what we have become over our lifetime will be what we leverage when we grow old, so we don’t want to spend that lifetime burning bridges. We will want to set goals and better ourselves along the way. We will want to live as if the next phase of our life will continue to be better than the last. And we will want to embrace the changes, both mentally and physically as we grow old. Or maybe another way of saying this is, if “old” is a state of mind, we want to make it a moving target; delaying its negative and embracing its positive aspects. Does this make sense?