My thoughts on “Age”

Posted on October 13, 2009. Filed under: Culture, Health, HowTo, Philosophy |

In the first of (maybe) a series of quizzie posts, I’m looking at the issue ofΒ  Age. I took a Blogthings Quiz called “What age do you act?”. Interesting question, because one of the reasons I blog (which I’ve repeated ad nauseum here, so forgive me if you’ve read this before) is that this is a place where I can just express “me” as “ME”, without reference to such qualifiers as relationship status, occupation, sexual preference, gender, race, political leanings, height, weight, and a host of others, including, of course…age! I have been told, repeatedly, over the course of my life, to “act my age”, but I don’t think I really have…

Here are my quiz results:

You Act Like You Are 32 Years Old

“You are a thirty-something at heart. You’ve had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

“You’re responsible, wise, and have enough experience to understand a lot of the world.

“You’re at the point in your life where you understand yourself pretty well.
You are figuring out what you want… and how to get it!”

I’ve taken many quizzes from this site before. Some are fairly lightweight and silly, while others offer…if not definitive answers…provocative discussion material. This one, I think, was well-structured. It did contain some pertinent evaluative questions.

I’m not, actually, 32 years old. However I have been or will be, and I find this evaluation of my “age” quite acceptable. I have a friend who says: “My age is none of your business. In fact, it’s none of MY business.” I get what he means, here. Society places a set of expectations upon certain age groups; in my culture it starts early with the phrase “the terrible twos”. This implies that as soon as your infant reaches two years old, she will be a terror! For a whole year! I have had some young relatives and friends who’ve entered and left that year while remaining relatively charming the whole time. It most definitely is NOT inherent, or necessary, that an age expectation become an age reality!

I have another friend who, after meeting someone new, will ask me “How old do you think s/he is?” Actually, now that I think about it, she doesn’t ask me that much anymore, because I don’t “play nice” in this game. I’ll say “I dunno. 38? 62?”—I really don’t have a clue, a lot of the time. You must have noticed that most people over the age of 25-30 or so, vary widely in how much they “look their age”. I’ve heard, countless times from people (including myself, hehe), when made aware of a colleague’s age for the first time: “I can’t believe they’re only XX! They look at least YY!!!”, or the other way around.

To me, the age one “seems” has a few components:

1. Your face. Your face is the most personal part of you, and tells a story. The story includes things like how much solar radiation you have been exposed to, whether you have smoked tobacco a lot in your life, your general state of health, perhaps plastic surgery if that applies, and, the most important: how much stress you’ve had and/or been able to eliminate in life, AND how much joy and pleasure you’ve experienced. Most of these things are modifiable, to some extent.

2. Your body. Basically, if you are actively pursuing the three aspects of physical well-being (strength, flexibility, and aerobic capacity) to the extent you are able, you will do much to feel comfortable in your body and the world. I realize that many people have physical issues, and I’m not trying to give advice, here. What I am doing, however, is agreeing with some writers that in my western culture we have become a civilization of muscle-atrophy, rather than muscle maintenance. Our bodies are meant to be used! (by ourselves, not others—that’s another topic!), and most people with disabilities or results from injuries can do something to help their situation with exercise, even if it requires help from physical therapists.

There was a fascinating study regarding people in their 90s, all residents of a retirement center. They had been “put out to pasture” by society, for all intents and purposes. A team came in and taught them how to lift weights safely, starting slowly and gently. After a period of time, some residents who had been in wheelchairs (not because of illness or injury, just because it was “easier” for them and their caretakers) began to walk. Those that could walk began to dance. Almost all reported an increased level of well-being; and no wonder!

3. Many advisers counsel good nutrition as an important component of remaining young-feeling. I’m not convinced that any one eating method is the best, but will say that eating nutritious food, most of the time, just feels better, along with supporting the immune system and regulating weight. But it does have to feel good to the person involved, and, without a junk-food binge once in a while, many of us would feel deprived!

4. Which brings me to the most important item: How one feels emotionally! This single point of attention overrides all the others. In fact, one can be completely physically disabled, yet still feel fulfilled, excited and looking forward to each day. There are times when I’m decidedly NOT feeling that way, and my first order of business has to be to get as close to that feeling as I can, as soon as I can. All else stems from that. Sometimes I do this by complaining about my circumstances. I do allow myself a small amount of time to do that, but choose to be careful that it doesn’t become addicting. Other ways to deal are some old new age tools (is that contradictory?) like making a list of ten things I appreciate, or sitting quietly and breathing consciously for 20 minutes or so. Anyone reading this surely has their own ways to feel better. It’s probably best if those don’t involve excessive food, drugs, or alcohol; but who am I to say? πŸ˜‰

Here is a fun (?) “Virtual Age” calculator that takes some of the above items into account. While I don’t agree on the importance of ALL the factors they are measuring there, it does provide some indications. According to this calculator, I have a life expectancy of 94! (Hmm, wonder if I’m going to be blogging all that time. Better start listing some more topics.) πŸ˜€

One of the gazillion things I like about blogging is that I meet people here of many different ages, some of whom I might not encounter if met in “Real Life”, because they are X number of years older or younger than I. I’ve noticed for a long time that some “adults” don’t really want to talk to or take seriously people who are 10 or 20 years younger than themselves; in the blogworld I tend to meet the person first, and find out their age later, if at all. This suits me; I get to find out about them right away without—even unconsciously—categorizing them first. People of any age have valuable things to say, and I’m pleased I can learn from those who are quite young. πŸ™‚

Lest this post get too long (oh, well, too late) I’ll just close with a few comments on the old adage that “age is a state of mind”. I truly believe this, not in an abstract, “let’s affirm it” sort of way, but literally. Sometimes days go by when I don’t think about my age, as a number, at all, and when someone asks me to tell them (and I choose to) I might have to think for a moment or two to remember what it is. (Or, is that just early senility setting in?) πŸ˜‰ Quite honestly, I don’t CARE how old other people are, and, for the most part, how old I am. People are just people, and the more I can let go of the need to classify them in one way or another, the happier I am.

So, thanks for reading, from a happy 32-year-old. If the Intertubes say it, it must be true, right?

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35 Responses to “My thoughts on “Age””

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i took the quiz it says..

You Act Like You Are 24 Years Old
You are a twenty-something at heart. You feel like an adult, and you’re optimistic about life.
You feel excited about what’s to come… love, work, and new experiences.

You’re still figuring out your place in the world and how you want your life to shape up.
The world is full of possibilities, and you can’t wait to explore many of them.

which is quite right….

i wonder how……?

Yes, I remember during Avante Garde when I asked age and bio, you refrained and gave me same explanation about blogging with an identity without qualifiers. I understood. πŸ™‚

I will take this quiz too.

I definitely act older than I am. I need to “spice it up” if you know what I mean. πŸ™‚

http://www.theprettyproject.com

While my POV regarding age is almost completely different from yours, I actually laughed out loud a few times reading this. Cleverly stated.

I agree that it’s nice to do away with all the differences that our eyes see, in the blogging world, so our souls can connect.

Love this. I maintain emphatically, you’re as old as you feel. I try to practice what I preach and only the weather stops me…

Great post, I agree that age is definitely a state of mind, BUT: I LOVE that calculator – it says I’m gonna live to be 87!
http://danakennedy.wordpress.com/

Ahhh, the beauty of the internet. No surprise that people often feel so in tune with other’s blogs; we have no physical cues with which to reject the writer and so for once, we actually proceed on what IS, rather than what appears to be. If only the rest of the world was like that.

Anna
http://www.TheAnglofile.net

Does lifting weights stop the elderly from rambling?

http://www.futurefashionnow.wordpress.com

i think i just act my age, or at least i try to. :]

http://redlinemg.net/blog

I took the quiz. Some questions were not very accurate but I was surprised that I got almost exactly my age. feh

I took the quiz
I was older than my age

Interesting stuff! A friend and I were just discussing how some people actively adapt, embrace what is current, and stay “young”, while others seem quite willing to take the one-way ticket to obsolescence.

P.S. I act like I’m 30 and I’m going to live to be 90. I still try to run like I’m 20…that’s given me a preview of what 90 is going to feel like!

Here’s my result:

You Act Like You Are 23 Years Old
You are a twenty-something at heart. You feel like an adult, and you’re optimistic about life.
You feel excited about what’s to come… love, work, and new experiences.

You’re still figuring out your place in the world and how you want your life to shape up.
The world is full of possibilities, and you can’t wait to explore many of them.

Hmmm…

So perfect to find your blog today. I’m 27, baby, and yes- If the Net says it, it’s a fact!

Well…well. And here I thought I was getting a ‘scoop.’ hehe I should have known better. πŸ™‚
Great to hear we are the same age, Muse! Gotta love it.

Maybe it is just me however I find it super hard to pin point how old people are these days and I have pretty well given up guessing, haha.

Hi, oorja, I wonder how, too! I think there is something to this quiz, in that whatever our physical age, it’s how we perceive life and how it perceives us that matters. I guess it’s telling you that you’re in the correct body for your time of life! πŸ™‚

I remember that, too, Poonam, and now it’s time again! πŸ™‚ I’m curious about your quiz results. What’s YOUR real age? πŸ˜€

I’m not *quite* sure what you mean, PrettyProject, but I can guess! Thanks for coming by, and wishing you fun!

Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it, MarcyS. I’m curious about what you disagreed about, as I said many different things. Hmmm. πŸ™‚

What a lovely way of putting it, Gloris. I like the idea of our souls connecting. Thank you for coming by and sharing that.

The weather, Mari—that’s an interesting obstacle. I can imagine it can get in the way! I agree that how we feel is the most important thing.

Good for you, danakennedy! We’ll be old together. πŸ™‚

Oh, I really like how you put this, Anna. “What IS, rather than what appears to be”—yes! If we start here on our blogs, who knows? Maybe it will make its way into the rest of the world! πŸ™‚

Kop: Um, erm, uhhh… πŸ™‚ Well, you know, I think it actually might! Give people something new to focus on, and see what happens!

Ah, but how will you act when you are 80, 90, or 100, Chuck? Come back and tell us! Thanks for dropping by. πŸ™‚

Hi Kanchan, I agree, not all the questions are relevant, but certainly gave us something to talk about! I take it you would rather have come out a different age? πŸ˜‰ 😎

Hello Vicky—Is that a good thing? πŸ˜‰

Thank you, Tony. This was timely for you then. It sure sounds like you’ll be a person to contend with when you ARE 90. πŸ™‚ “Adapt and Embrace”—both good suggestions for those of that want to keep current.

I’m not sure of your actual age, Juan, but it might not be TOO far from your result? I think gaming keeps you young! πŸ˜€

You bet it’s true, emptynesta! πŸ™‚ You’re even younger than I am; way to go! Glad you found me here, too. Thanks for visiting!

You’re referring to my “Tweet” announcing this post, BD? Hehe, I’m such a tease! Hey, we’re the same age! See, I knew we were twin souls. πŸ™‚

I know what you mean, ashleythinks. I find it doesn’t hinder most relationships. If one becomes, well, “serious” or “romantic” it might matter, but otherwise…oh, well. πŸ˜€

age is what you make it to be, and how you act and respond to life choices.

http://gwbankowned.com

Hi Museditions, Good of you to reply to everyone! πŸ™‚ I actually came out almost exactly my age, but intitially I expect to come out a bit older, because quizes I’ve taken before came out rather old. And also because I’m at a cynical stage in life lol. But well, I guess I’m happy to find out that I’m as young and as optimistic as my age!!! I’m guessing that you’re in your early to mid-20s since you said there was a huge gap from 32? Or possible younger?

Very good points and I enjoyed the quiz as well. I agree that age can also be an emotional state rather than only a physical one. I’ve known many elderly who still had that feeling of youth about them.

— You Act Like You Are 22 Years Old
You are a twenty-something at heart. You feel like an adult, and you’re optimistic about life.
You feel excited about what’s to come… love, work, and new experiences. You’re still figuring out your place in the world and how you want your life to shape up.
The world is full of possibilities, and you can’t wait to explore many of them. —

Sounds pretty accurate to me.

Thank you, Kanchan. I truly feel honored when someone takes the time and attention to leave me a comment. I think cynicism *might* make us older—you’ll have to let me know. πŸ˜‰ Ah,you flatter me! I didn’t mean to imply there was a HUGE gap between my real and my quiz age. I’m a bit older than you suspect. πŸ™‚ Do you have a blog? I’d love to visit it.

It’s nice that you see older people in your life making the choice to remain more youthful, June. Our emotions are SO important in this. So, your quiz was close to reality! It’s nice to know you are in the right place in life. Thanks for visiting! πŸ™‚

Please don’t think I’m bragging Muse but most people think I’m 5 to 8 years younger than my true age.
What mystifies me is why I look young when I’m a worrier and a habitual deep thinker.
Do you have any idea?

Ha ha ha Why should I tell MY age. Ok, let’s do a barter, you tell yours and I tell mine. πŸ™‚

Dear Museditions :-), I do have a personal blog @ motionpix, but it can be quite pessimistic there, because I only blog when I philosophise and the origins of it is pessimistic. Take it with a pinch of salt if you visit. It is not very informative because I don’t do it often.

@pochp
Let me take the liberty of replying, although this is not my blog. You could simply have a youthful face. Not all worriers look older than their age and not all nagging worries of deep thinking transates into stress. If you like thinking, it might not be as stressful for you as someone who goes through life without thinking. πŸ˜›

Hey ME. Nice post. I remember my mom once saying to me “I still feel like a young girl inside.” She was in her mid-80s then and didn’t have much longer to live, but she still valued life with all her heart. I was feeling especially creaky yesterday body-wise, but I heard myself think “I still feel like a young girl inside”. And of course, I felt mom with me. Not about the immaturity of youth but of the dancing spirit, you know?

Kan –
Thank you for your thoughts. It lessened my worry πŸ™‚

Anna –
There was a recent study where it showed that most inactive elderlies who started weightlifting became healthier- most even got rid of their depression and sickness.

Hi, poch! I don’t think you’re bragging; people say the same about me! I see my new friend Kan has eased your mind; I would agree. πŸ™‚ While I’m sure the stress and worry don’t contribute to your well being (so cut that out, already!) πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ The fact that you use your brain in thoughtful and creative ways keeps you young. I have read research that proposes that thinking and being interested in things staves off processes we think of as “normal” aging. That must make you “abnormal”, eh? πŸ˜€

Hehe, Poonam! No, I’m not telling, and I don’t need to know your actual chronological age, either. I was just curious if your quiz results were close to or far away from your “real” age. πŸ˜‰ But, whatever age you are, you are Poonam, and that’s all that matters to me!

Thanks for letting me know that, Kan. I was not able to find your blog, but I do believe that blogs are an outlet, and that you certainly have the right to write about anything that concerns you. I would not judge the content. It is nice of you to come back here and continue the conversation! πŸ™‚

Thanks, RA! Your comments remind me of my own mother, who said similar things. When I was VERY young (like, last week, hehe) I used to think older people were uncool, and could not possibly relate to my issues. When I was told that nearly everyone still feels like a twenty-something inside, and is still dealing with childhood issues, it was a real eye-opener. I think it behooves us to remain open to what younger people have to say, too. I once heard a seasoned actor say to a very young director: “Why should I take your direction? I have socks older than you!” —Well, yeah, but perhaps the director has ideas newer than your socks! πŸ˜‰

Hi again, poch—whew! Yes, there are other studies similar to the one I linked to in paragraph 8. πŸ™‚

Right Muse. Sometimes I think I’m abnormal! LOL
And thanks for the reference. I might sue it one day.

Here’s my results:

You Act Like You Are 21 Years Old
You are a twenty-something at heart. You feel like an adult, and you’re optimistic about life.
You feel excited about what’s to come… love, work, and new experiences.

You’re still figuring out your place in the world and how you want your life to shape up.
The world is full of possibilities, and you can’t wait to explore many of them.

Those quizzes are neat how they work, and it’s not too far off on my age, although I don’t think I act like a typical 21 year old. The optimistic part is some more days than others, but the results are cool and the last paragraph is pretty much dead on.

It’d be interesting to see like a survey type thing of how they vary between real age and the quiz age for a group of people.

Shane, I believe I know how old you are; not FAR from the truth. πŸ™‚ Still, your love of adventure will keep you young even when you start to be concerned about that. RE: your last paragraph; that WOULD be an interesting study. We’d have to give the quiz to a lot of people to see the results.


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