Aging

Such a simple and short word. Such a meaning. Some people get amused and other frightened. If you are below 30, you can stop reading now – this post is not for you. I mean, not yet…;) It occurred to me recently that we are all a bit too much concerned about (not) aging and what to do about it. At least in our western, ‘developed’ society. Let me share with you my observations and make you think about your relationship with aging. What if we could look into a mirror and see ourselves 20 years older? Would we like what we see or not?

Aging Mirror
‘Aging Mirror’ with my dear friend Alan

Even the pure fact that we discuss this topic is significant. Imagine when we were in our 30’ and someone would start talking about ‘aging’. We would laugh him/her off. Nowadays – not anymore. We discuss it seriously, during small talks, at home, at work. A couple of ideas crossed my mind recently.

Aging and Dan
I turned 47 this year. I keep feeling strong, powerful, young, invincible 😉 And indeed, I feel therefore I am fit and healthy. Here is a (non-exhaustive…) list of things that I can still manage to do – in light of one of my life mottos ‘Anything can be achieved’:

  1. Ski off-piste in deep powder snow
  2. Work hard and push through an ‘overnighter’
  3. Freedive to 30m on a single breath
  4. Enjoy whole day dirt bike ride with friends
  5. Drink a bottle of whisky during an evening
  6. Run 5km in rice paddies
  7. Gobble-up lavish 7-course dinner at Locavore

So, it seems like everything is the same like 10-15 years ago. Or not? Well, let’s have a look together – have a look at what has changed within rather short period of time (from cosmic point of view, anyway):

  1. Ski off-piste in deep powder snow but instead of 7-days-non-stop I really enjoy a break in-between for nice spa and massage
  2. Work hard and push through an ‘overnighter’ but I really don’t like it anymore
  3. Freedive to 30m on a single breath – the only thing I could not do 10 years ago 😉
  4. Enjoy whole day dirt bike ride with friends but the following day is more less erased from the calendar
  5. Drink a bottle of whisky during an evening but here again, the following day is more less erased from the calendar AND I really don’t like it anymore
  6. Run 5km in rice paddies, however not 10km and not everyday. Any injury takes much longer to heal
  7. Gobble-up lavish 7-course dinner at Locavore, but iPhone torch is needed to read the menu in dim light

So, am I aging? Are we aging? Of course we are! The important moment for me was to realize that first, then move through a short period of denial and now being pretty content with the fact and trying not to fight too much. Just enjoy what I can and understand that my body (worn-off by all the sport, fun & hard work, travel) does not like anymore what was normal 10 years ago. Even if mind sometimes keeps pushing…

Longevity
From my view the keyword is longevity. Stay healthy and fit for a long time. A short list of my suggestions gathered from different sources to achieve ‘immortality’:

  • Community – friends and family that you can trust and enjoy being with, give and get
  • Purpose – find your purpose in life and go for it
  • Simple life – try to live simply, avoid adding unnecessary complexity into your life
  • Activity – keep doing what you like, skiing, reading, exercise, whatever
  • Food – don’t eat crap!
  • Trust that things will turn out well and at the same time don’t give a sh** if they don’t (hard!)
  • Reincarnation – believing into a concept of reincarnation definitely helps 😉

If you are ‘science-based’ then you can start working on your longevity with watching this amazing woman, biologist Elizabeth Blackburn that shares a Nobel Prize for her discovery of telomerase – an enzyme that replenishes the caps at the end of chromosomes, which break down when cells divide: Ted Talk Elizabeth Blackburn

Before asking some questions for you to think about, let me finish the post about aging with recent words from one my dear friends. We should “intentionally work on your longevity while aging gracefully”.

Questions for you
Think about yourself, your reality and aging. How does it feel? What is the same like 10 years ago and what different?

Which option should we take:

  • Fight and resist, i.e. read any piece of longevity research available, drink less coffee – one study, drink more coffee – another study, plastic surgery, eye surgery, robotic arm…?
  • Accept, surrender and age with grace?

How our society views aging? Something positive and normal or something rather inconvenient and worth fighting against?

How our society views aging differently for men and women? Men getting older and better like wine while women being pushed by all sorts of mass media to fight age at all costs?

Let me know in comments or email what do you think? How has been your ‘aging journey’ so far?

Optional reading
I thoroughly enjoyed reading these books – recommended by my wife, how else would they land on my night stand?

Comments

  1. Brigitte Muir

    It took a lot a lot of talent to become old without being adult, said Jacques Brel, a singer poet from my country, Belgium. As I am now on the eve of becoming a sweet sixty, I am easing into the hot waters of accepting the here and now, whatever that might bring. Ouch, the body is stiff, better do a little Qi gong and yoga from YouTube when I can be bothered.. And bathe in the warmth of friendship, more and more, as a migrant and traveller of life, bring to the forefront my child within, the ever curious little girl eager to learn and enjoy LIFE! Woo hoo! Thanks for bringing these thoughts and feelings to the surface. Big hug, b. Xo

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