Aging is a matter of the mind.
The years may creep upon us, and the seasons come and go, but we all have a choice how we age in our mind and heart.
In physical terms, I am now in my fifties. Mentally, I rarely pass beyond my twenties. The statement, so often spoken, "The mind is willing but the body refuses to respond" becomes ever more true as we get older in years. But we don't need to age mentally or emotionally.
I have crossed paths with so many people I have known in my life, and there are so many that have not only aged physically, but mentally, as well. There is often no sparkle or light in their eyes. They not only "look" old, but their very presence "feels" old.
Combating age is really a two-fold process:
1) Physical Aging
2) Mental and/or Emotional Aging
Of course, we all know the rhetoric on dealing with physical aging: "Diet, exercise, adequate sleep". So many of us know what to do. So many of us intend to do well. But so often we just don't get around to it. But take heart. It's never too late to start! But you must start, and start now. Begin gradually, of course. Don't try to become an olympic contender overnight. Gradually work into a physical routine and get plenty of rest and eat properly. My wife and I began our regimen when I became sixty pounds overweight. The kicker was that my blood pressure went from 120/80 to nearly 160/95! My wife found some books on healthy eating and lifestyle, and we began. I have now lost 40 pounds and am well on the way for the rest.
Then there is the question of mental/emotional aging. For the most part, this is an aging of choice. That may seem like a harsh statement, but it is true. In fact, it is a daily choice that we consciously make. We react, for the most part, to the circumstances around us. We adapt and adjust to the circumstances of life as we perceive them. Acting "old" is the easy way out. It is a reaction of surrender. But beware, for it is a choice of addiction and eventual debilitation of the mind...and the heart. Mental aging will cripple you faster than any physical complication or challenge will.
"Age is a cage
We forge for ourselves
With shackles and chains
We keep on it's shelves;
The gatekeeper's key
Is hidden from view
For the secret to freedom
Is only within YOU!
So make the decision, and don't put it to committee. Decide to be happy, regardless of your physical circumstances and limitations. The conscious choice of being happy may not cure your physical ailments due to aging, but it will make your life so much more bearable.
Bob Curtis has been writing articles, short fiction and poetry for over thirty years. He has been a lay family and individual consultant for a number of years. He is currently the managing director of www.people4people.blogspot.com">people4people.blogspot.com and is the president of Nexus Publishing, www.nexus4u.blog.spot.com">nexus4u.blog.spot.com in Midvale, Utah.