I am 68-years-old and even though I have a lot of life experience, I don’t feel like I’ve become a “senior” in my mind.
I know when society looks at me, they see a 68-year-old woman. Like many of my friends, I have grey hairs and extra kilos. Inside though, I am still curious about the world and happy to experience it.
Even though my body has more aches and pain than it did when I was 48, I stay active. I love exercising, even if it’s just walking. I dread to think of some people my age who wither away indoors.
Being surrounded by teenagers and young people every week at my local PCYC helps remind me that age is just a number, as cliche as it sounds.
I want to gain more knowledge, which I think is key to feeling younger. To me, staying in my old routines and refusing to learn how to use new technology is what will make me feel older. I make an effort to read new books, listen to unusual music or take short road-trips, and I don’t let age stop me from expanding my mind – and you shouldn’t either. Our brain doesn’t just konk out at age 60!
I might eat exotic foods, meet different people or simply get outdoors, and my age never comes into play. To be frank I’m wondering when it really does apply… shouldn’t everyone want to be youthful and fun, no matter how old they are?
The other day I read this comment on the Starts at Sixty Facebook page, which is why I felt compelled to write this article: “Is there anybody else out there who doesn’t feel old? Honestly, I can’t identify with the images on SAS“.
“I don’t look anything like that! In my heart I am still 14. People refuse to believe I am 65. Sorry to exhibit this Peter Pan thing, but I wonder if I am alone here?”
To this fellow SAS reader, let me say you are not alone. There could even be benefits to seeing yourself outside of a particular age. I’ve done some research, and discovered that people who perceive themselves as younger are more likely to have longer life expectancies.
According to Professor Andrew Steptoe, “people’s judgements about how old they feel are likely influenced by a number of factors – aches and pains, serious illness, feelings of vitality, social and physical activity”. That’s pretty good news!
Despite having an average age of 65.8 years, the people involved in that study thought of themselves as around 56.8 years.
I for one am not going to resign myself to dressing a certain way, or acting in an “elderly” fashion just because I’m 68. I still want to live a busy life, so long as my mind and body permit me to. Acting my age is over-rated, anyway!