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Act Your Age

playing airplane with dadHave you ever been told “act your age” by some well-meaning adult?  Most likely you heard this command from an adult when you were a young kid, perhaps a teenager.  Basically, you were being asked to act older, more mature.  In this instance, to “act older” is supposed to be a good thing.

A second use for “act your age” is when someone, usually an old fuddy duddy, wants you to act “older, more mature”.  In this case, acting older and more mature has the intention of “don’t have fun outside the boundaries of your age”.  Isn’t that what aging is though, not having fun because you are too old?  Supposedly a wise person knows not to test the fun boundary with their aging body and mind.  Who sets the standards though as to what the boundaries should be?

An elderly patient was always quick to respond to my question “what’s happening?” She would share the excitement of an upcoming family gathering or perhaps a vacation trip.  Well into her 80’s, she had a true spark of life.  What stood out to me was the woman’s connection to the future.  She was continuously creating future experiences.  An old person recites old experiences over and over with seldom a mention of the future.  Old age doesn’t have a future.

How much of aging well is a choice?  You can attach your mind to standards set by someone who failed old age or someone who thrived in old age, or even set your own standards.

Looking forward to celebrating you in the future.