We went to dinner at a younger friends’ house the other night (twenty years younger), and we started a conversation about aging (my favorite). He asked in the middle of our conversation, “Is 82 Old?” What a great question, I thought! I gave him an answer right off the top of my head and afterwards when I thought about it, I realized, I didn’t like it.
I should have said, “I’ll think about it and call you back tomorrow.” I told him I thought 82 was old but that didn’t have to be a bad thing. You do have to slow down but you can still do almost everything and the things you can’t do you can go around them and do something else instead. But, it’s not such an easy question to answer. I thought about it all the next day.
82 is old to some and not to others, and only some moments of the day, and some days of the week. There are still some very young times amongst all the aches and pains one gets.
82 could be old on your hip joins and knees, but young in your head. Sometimes I get more excited about the prospect of doing something at this age than I ever did at 50. I know why that is. I realize how very special it is that I am able to do something that thrills me at this stage of my life.
My granddaughter called me from college late one night last week and we talked at least for an hour. She just missed telling me things, she said, but not half as much as I missed hearing them. I don’t know if I would have appreciated that conversation, even 10 years ago as much as I did that night. I know now, how priceless our conversation really was!
When I did my TEDx talk, I realized how special it was that I was still able to fly across the country, memorize my speech and give it in front of all those people! I got it! 82 can feel old at night after a long day, but never in your young life would a bed feel so delicious!
The trick is to remain in the game no matter how old you are. 52 or 82. You can be old and jaded at 40, 50, or 60. Or not! Your decision!
What I should have told him is that 82 is just an extension of who you are your whole life. Nothing more. You remain the same inside.
The only thing we have to lose as we age, is the fear of aging.