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Am I Young or Old?

I was recently at the doctor's office and the subject of age came up twice - both times with female technicians. Interestingly, they were both older than me, one was 50, the other was in her 60s, and they both referred to me as "young".

At 42, I am "young" sometimes, and I am "old" others, depending on the company, and I felt like digging deeper into the "age thing" with one of the technicians (the 50 year old).

Her: "I wish I was in my 40s again."

Me: "Why?"

Her: "Because I thought I was old and I wasn't."

Me: "Ok, but what would you have done differently?"

Her: "I wouldn't have acted like I was 'too old'."

A woman doing half moon pose in a yoga studio.
Melanie Pfleger from Pearl Yoga & Fitness

After a few more questions, I think I had flushed out what she was trying to say. In her early 40s, her mindset was limited by her age. She was tired from running around with her athletic kids, but was very fulfilled and, now, when she looks back, she wishes she had appreciated her energy more.

I cannot tell you how I work overtime to encourage people to break self-imposed (but not necessarily accurate) and limiting beliefs around what he/she/they are capable. Ageism is everywhere. All of the "-isms" are everyone. And subconsciously we absorb them.

My friend was telling me once she started receiving social security, a litany of flyers came in the mail for assisted living insurance. Somewhere in our 50s, AARP starts sending information. While developmentally, there are stages and physiological experiences associated with those stages, mentally limiting ourselves, or behaving a certain way because of societal expectations is unsatisfactory.

There are many examples of people in their 60s who have accomplished incredible goals. For instance, Karen Uhlenbeck, a mathematician, became the first woman to win the prestigious Abel Prize in 2019 at the age of 76.[1] Another example is Taikichiro Mori, a Japanese real estate mogul who became the world's richest man at the age of 65 in the 1990s.[2] Additionally, at the age of 60, Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective cage, a feat she accomplished in 2013.[3]

Every day, I find people older than me on Instagram who are shattering the "image" of "old people". The message of hope is immensely needed.

If you intuitively have a dream in your heart or mind, there is a good chance it has been divinely put there on purpose. Even if your vision isn't to swim across the Straits of Florida in your 60s, it is attainable to some degree. So, whatever age you are at right now, you aren't "young" or "old". You are much more than either choice, and I hope you start acting like it 😉.



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