Sunday, July 29, 2007

How to Age Well

A hell of a lot has been said about "you're only as old as you feel" -- and I'm a firm believer in this.

My father was 24 years older than my mother.

As a kid, I loved it! I used to wow my friends with lines like "My grandpa is 3 years younger than my dad!" As a teen, I loved his quiet sense of humour and his respect for words. We used to watch M.A.S.H. together and Bugs Bunny on Saturday mornings.

He and Mom had a brilliant relationship. They'd met when she was in her late 20s, in a small Ontario town, and the rest, as they say, was history.

My dad got his first pacemaker when he was 50, the year I was born. So he didn't expect to see my sister and I finish high school...but instead, he lived until my sister and I were in our 30s, saw me through university, and met and knew his three grandchildren very well.

The best thing about my dad was his attitude about life -- he did not get old until about a couple of years before he died. Everyone who knew him felt young too.

One of his best friends was 50 when Dad died, and I thought he was truly hot. So, in my one experiment with online dating, I thought nothing of going out to meet a 48-year-old man for a cup of coffee. But man, was he old!! That's when I realized that age is in your head.

I had a student from Korea once who irritated me to no end. He was 30, and actually said, in class, that he was old. He went on and on about it -- I was infuriated. How happy can that guy's life be? What had happened in his life to make him feel old at such an early age?

My mom is young. She's turning 70 this week, but doesn't act it, or look it. She's just booked her tickets to Kenya and Ethiopia for the fall, and she was in India the year before. She travels to California every year, and goes to Europe every second year.

My sisters in-laws are a couple of years younger than our mom, but they refer to Mom as "the young grandma" and they are old.

Did I mention that she's now traveling with her friend, a very funny man who is 10 years her junior? They're definitely more than friends -- they spend a lot of time together. He makes her laugh, and they seem very happy hanging out together.

In this week, when both my mom and her friend are celebrating their birthdays, I would like everyone to celebrate your own life, and remember that you are only as old as you want to be.



Norlinda said...

What a nice inspiring post dear Lori.

Lori said...

Thank you, dear Norlinda. I miss not being able to chat with you via messenger during work -- government computer, you know!

nursemyra said...

hey your parents sound pretty cool

archie said...

What wonderful parents you were blessed with, Lori. Me, I still feel (and act) about 23, but the body keeps betraying me :(

Lori said...

Thanks nursemyra, archie -- yes, my parents are cool. I miss my dad all the time, but so much of him is with me.

Weird is the age I am now -- meeting others in the same generation, but assuming they're older than I am, 'cause of the way they act. I have 60+-year-old friends who are younger than some of my freakin' peers!

But then, those maturity-laden almost-40s are actually few and far between...what's the line? "50 is the new 30"