Ah, Youth

The older I get the more enamored I am with youth. I see it all around me: bright eyes, clear skin, firm muscles, lustrous hair. This is in stark contrast to the aging process in my own body. I just turned 61 but parts of me are in their 80s.

The timing is different for everyone but as Tina Fey says, “At a certain point your body wants to be disgusting.” There’s no Fountain of Youth to wash us back to our prime, so it’s tempting—and fruitless—to turn from the mirror and become infatuated with the young and the beautiful.

“Old age,” says A. J. Jacobs, “is a long, slow loss of control.” That’s one of the many things I don’t like about it. Against this inexorable current all I can do is work to stay in shape, to keep sharp and to maintain a positive attitude:

Attitude is our personal perspective on ourselves and our circumstances. Our angle on things; our disposition; our emotional point of view. Many things affect our attitude, including our basic character, our spirit, our sense of self worth, the perception of those around us and their expectations of us. —Sir Ken Robinson

“It’s not how old you are,
it’s how you are old.”
―Jules Renard

Me and Julie in China
Age and Beauty

2 thoughts on “Ah, Youth

  1. I love this post, Mike. At 54 I’m beginning to live out your observations. I catch myself looking at my collegiate kids and their friends and wondering “man, wouldn’t it be so nice if…(fill in the blank)” and day-dream my way into a bit of disappointment.

    Your insights are right on, though, attitude about all of this is critical. Each stage of life has a benefit unique to that stage and it is foolish to pretend that we can hold the benefits of earlier stages forever. So, we serve ourselves and others best by embracing our own current stage, maximizing what we have and not wasting time pining for things like a 25 yr old physique while living in a 50+ body.

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