I have always boasted about my age, feeling proud of who I am and gradually becoming a champion of change and ageing until a lady put things in true perspective. I am 60 years old. I shout it to the world and will keep shouting it even when I am 90. That attitude is no easy feat in ageist Britain, where people are written off as soon as they reach 50! I envy America so much when I see people of all ages achieving, making their mark and still enjoying their lives at any age, even though there are many there who still fear getting older. But this lady really uplifted me.
I was shopping in my local mall some months ago and popped into a health store to get something. A very small Chinese lady was talking to the shop assistant rather animatedly, and excitedly, about something that would happen 'in 14 years time'. I only caught the last part of the conversation and was only paying half attention to it, being no business of mine. She was stressing the 14 years for some reason and, mentally, I looked at her and calculated that she would be about 62 when that time came. She looked between 48 and 50 now, having no tell-tale grey hairs, with a ready smile which easily lit up her kindly face and a very sunny disposition. Yes, I felt sure she would be in her 60s 14 years from now.
Then the shop assistant asked her matter-of-factly how old she was now.
"84 years old," she flashed back chirpily, without batting an eyelid, and nearly floored me! If we were shocked, we tried not to show it. I stood there trying not to gaze at this woman too awkwardly as my own perception was put to the test. It was not lost on us both that she would be 98 at the time of the event she was talking about, and it didn't seem to bother her in the least. She was planning for it, looking forward to it, and was excited about it. No wonder she looked so amazing. She just took her life as it comes and was enjoying every minute! This woman was so adorable and inspiring. I thought people like her should be sent round the country to all the others fretting selfishly about their age to challenge their fears. She would certainly alter their perception, and certainly reinforced mine!
Life after 25 years old
At 63 years old I cannot think of a single thing I used to do at 25 which I cannot do now. So I am challenging you to tell me what I personally cannot do now that I might have done then. For a start I am single and not even when I was 20 did I get as many offers for dates as I have now; desire for sex is still high - too much sometimes ..lol! I run up and down stairs, I walk very briskly everywhere I go, and run if I wish to, I think so fast my brain cannot cope sometimes and my young staff couldn't keep up with me mentally when I had my business. I have no aches of any kind, especially backache which plagues many older people, I do my own simple exercises three times weekly, and dance regularly, which keep me in shape, I eat healthily and - voila! - here I am as gorgeous and scintillating as ever! The only thing physically different is that I have grey hairs and there is always the hair dye, if I don't want it.
But I tell you what has changed since I was 25: I am far more knowledgeable, far more confident and assured, more beautiful, empathetic and far more loving. What on earth would I wish to go back to 25 years for? Nothing at all I can think of because I am going to look and feel exactly the same even when I am 70 and 80. The reason? Because we are the ones who age ourselves by our thoughts and actions. Let me repeat that again, slowly: YOU age yourself according to whether you fear ageing or welcome it.
The more you fear ageing, the more negative your thoughts will be, the more anxious you'll feel, the more you lower your constitution, the worse you feel and, ipso facto, the more rapidly you age! Ageing is inevitable, if we are still alive. But the RATE at which we age, and precisely how we look, is entirely down to us. We are all unique beings so it isn't automatic that you are going to look like any older person you see now!
Right now I couldn't give a hoot about my age. I am too busy just enjoying my life and being thankful for it.
Over to you about your fears. Let's have them right out in the open now and see if they hold any water! :o)
©Elaine Sihera (Ms CYPRAH) 2012
Emotional Health and People Management Consultant
"Happiness is a state of being. We are the ones who decide whether we wish to be happy or not, by the script we use inside our heads."