What Age Is the Perfect Age?
What is your normal reaction when someone says they’re old?
This subject has been on my mind since my 70th birthday last month. I’m often amused and surprised at the strong reactions people have to the simple statement, “I’m old.” I admit I sometimes say it on purpose to hear what they are going to say in response; and, almost always, it’s something like: “Don’t say that!” “You’re not old!” “You look great!” “You’re young at heart!” Do you hear yourself in any of those?
Being old means we have lived a long time. Where is the negative in that? Where does that say it’s bad or we should fear or avoid it?
I wear my age with a badge of honor. It’s nothing short of a miracle that I lived past 25, and here I am in all my glory at 70! I’ve known and heard of so many people, as I’m sure you have, who died young. They never got to brush their gray hair or to caress the wrinkles on their faces that each told a story.
I wonder why people react with that denial, like when they say, “You’re not old!” What do they fear? Do they dread the thought of being old one day, too? I hope not. If you’re one of those people, consider examining your relationship with aging. Embrace it and it will embrace you.
Let’s have fun with this experiment! The next time you hear someone say, “I’m old,” use one of these responses:
“Yes, you certainly are! Congratulations!”
“Isn’t that fabulous!”
“I’m so happy for you!”
“Congratulations—I can’t wait to be old like you!”
We are laughing together by now, aren’t we? What do you think would happen if you did that? I understand that some people say it with a woe is me attitude, but you have the power to change that for them, too, when you change the perception of aging in yourself.
If you lose a friend by trying this, call me. I’ll happily be your old friend!
President, The Zen Speaker
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Sessions are once a month on the 3rd Friday for 4 months
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Class is limited to 12 people
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