I always wondered what that term about ‘aging gracefully’ means. Similarly: what does it mean to ‘act your age’? What is allowed and what is forbidden?
I guess it really depends where you stand when you look at those questions. I am 58 now, and I have been spared those health challenges that come out of nowhere and that disregard the fact that you have done nothing to bring it on.
I must admit: I do just about everything that I ‘should’ do by the standards of health recommendations. I also have to admit that I enjoy most of that stuff really a lot. If somebody asks my favorite activity: walking my dog, hands down. The more, the better. I love to move, I even move when I sit still which got me the term ‘Zappelphilipp’ at an early age. That is a German word for somebody in constant motion. And while MELT has a funny way of keeping me in one place for a while, it has even further enhanced my sense of well-being.
I am a vegetarian because I do not think that somebody needs to die so that I can eat. But I also really like all that green stuff, and after we recently joined a CSA, I am taking ‘green leafy vegetables’ to new heights.
I did smoke at one point in my life but gave that up when I was 21. Never touched another cigarette but certainly understand the power of addiction.
Right now, I am as healthy as can be, and my physical abilities are not a limiting factor in the choices I make. I sometimes marvel how little has changed between the current version of me and the one from many years ago. Oh sure, some grey hair and ‘laugh lines’! On close inspection, not all parts of my body should be exposed to detailed scrutiny but I choose not to inspect too closely. I have no interest to compete with my younger self because that version has evolved to where I am now, and I would not go back to any earlier point in my life.
So what does ‘aging’ really mean? Adding years – yes. Acting smarter – I hope so. Embracing new challenges – absolutely!