I remember at the age of 9 or 10, I thought people in their 30s were old. They also seemed to have perfect lives, and didn’t have to deal with any of the BS I was stuck dealing with, like mean girls, and too much homework.
In short, I couldn’t wait until I was 30. It seemed like a great age.
Fast forward to now, at age 33, and I’ll say this…it IS a pretty great period in my life. And I think the same can be said for many of my friends in their 30s. Sure, they’re running after their kids and feeling generally overwhelmed by LIFE, but they are overall happy.
Yet. In your 30s, things in your body start to break and not mend quite as well. You don’t bounce back as quickly as you did in your 20s or younger. Staying out all night doesn’t hold quite the appeal that it once did.
I’ve noticed deeper grooves in my skin from a lifetime of sunshine and laughter. My husband and I are also late bloomers to the “trying to get preggers” stage, and I do feel a tad bit of ticking clock anxiety. Which is to say, I feel my AGE, a lot more than ever before.
Does feeling your age mean you’re OLD? ::gasp::
After lots of thought, I’ve decided that your age has very little to do with being OLD. I mean, sure, if you want to be morbid, aging does bring you closer to the fuzzy “end of life” discussion. But that’s assuming a runaway truck, or shark attack doesn’t do you in first.
I’ve met men and women in their 60s that “felt” just as young as I do now. Sure, they might have a few more aches and pains. They might have to push a little harder to stay open minded, curious and adventurous. But we ALL do, otherwise you and your couch would be BFFs for the rest of your life.
Which brings me to, the 3 ways you know you’ve lost the game…and have become OLD.
Lack of Curiosity
In our youth, we’re curious by nature. We ask “why” and love to explore. As we age, we often settle into our day-to-day routine and stop asking. We stop learning, especially if you’re in a comfy, stable 9-5 job doing the same thing you’ve done for the last year.
You no longer have a teacher or professor shoving knowledge down your throat, and you’ve let yourself slack in the self improvement category. You’re stuck in your routines, and avoid trying new technologies, methods or even a new way home from work….because, you like the way you’ve always done it.
If this is you…I’m sorry to say, but you’re old.
Lack of Courage
Kids and young adults are filled with fire. They are ready to try new things, and haven’t been slapped down enough by life to be scared to try. But many adults have experienced a little too much rejection, or failure in their lives. In order to avoid more, it’s easy to decide not to try. Sticking with what you know is the safest bet.
After all, if you try something new there are a lot of risks.
What if you don’t like it? What if it doesn’t work out? What if everyone laughs at you?
If you let questions like that hold you back from new adventures, big or small, then you’re old.
Lack of Big Dreams
Ask a kid what he or she wants to be when they grow up, and they’ll often come up with outlandish ideas. Depending on where you are with your life, you might hear those ideas and tell the innocent, big dreaming kid, “you’d make a great astronaut” or “you might want to rethink that”.
I’ve noticed with quite a few adults, they no longer have dreams. They’ve followed their life “plan” and haven’t added anything new to the pot. Sure, they’re married, have a few kids and a house…but what’s next?
If you don’t have a dream you’re striving towards, whether it happens or evolves along the way, you’re old.
Moral of the story? You choose how old you want to be.
Stop thinking of age in terms of numbers, or the wrinkles on your skin…and think of it in terms of how much LIFE you’re living. If you’re living out your days in humdrum “every day looks the same as the one before”, you might as well be 90.
My challenge for you today: Try something new. Look at something in a new light.
Take a new way home from work. Try a new food that you’ve never had before for lunch. Eat with your non-dominant hand. Smile at a stranger. Explore a fantasy you’ve always thought about, but never considered actually trying. Listen to a new type of music. Plan a day or weekend trip to a new place.
Think about what you’d do if you had no limitations. Imagine what would put a few more smiles on your face.
Then try it. Do it. Explore it. Love your life. Don’t BE OLD.
Life is unexpected, and when we get too caught up in how much time we have left, we miss out on all of the moments in between. And that, my friends, is the biggest thing that makes you old, so don’t do that. Focus on abundance, not lack, in every corner of your life.
You’ll be amazed at what major shifts this can have in your life, if you’ll let it. Being thankful for what you have, even if it isn’t the tight and toned 20 year old body that you once had, will lead you down some amazing roads indeed.
You might only have today, or this week, or this year left on your time stamp…it’s time to make the most of it. Your future, and daily life, is only as bright as you make it.
How will you stay young, dream big and see limitless possibility in your life?
Share your advice, experiences, tips and ideas in the comments! We can all inspire one another to live full, wonderful lives, no matter what our age.