How Old Do You Feel?

22 May

How old do you feel? At a recent 40th birthday party I attended, that was the question du jour. This is a decent question. And to some extent, it is a question that we all must ask ourselves. We need to do what we can to keep ourselves young. Not because we are Darwinian, but because much of aging is a choice.

The Nobel prize winning George Bernard Shaw wrote, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” We like hearing this, as it gives us excuses for being juvenile, as it adds value to it. And while there is some truth to it, there is also truth to the fact that some aging is inevitable.

In my real estate classes, we talk about how a piece of real property decreases in value over time. One of the things we talk about is physical deterioration, which we all agree is positively demoralizing, yet an inescapable part of the condition of buildings. Unfortunately, it is also an inescapable part of the human condition.

I’ve noticed recently that when I stand it is accompanied by creeks and groans. I need more sleep than I used to require. I am unable to do some of the things I used to be able to do. Basically, I’m an old dude and as much as I try to Claim I feel young and spry, the reality is that I am feeling older and older all the time. I mean sometimes I need to sit on the floor for the firmness that it provides, while other times I cannot sit on it for the very same reason.

Clearly some aspects of aging are outside of our control, even if we do the best we can. But I learned from my good friend, Bob Collins (whom I mention in this blog and will write a more fitting tribute between his would-be 91st birthday and the 1st anniversary of his death) that aging gracefully and finishing well is less about physical ability and mental or business acumen and more about doing all we can with that which God has still blessed us.

I may be (strike that, am) less capable than I used to be, but I am more mentally aware of the correct decisions to make. And while I have just recently come to grips with the fact that I am an adult, I have been readily aware that regardless of age or position, I am required to do that which God requires of me. And that is a full time job, no matter how old I feel!


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