Friday, July 26, 2013

Getting older

What is it about age that gets people so worked up? I've noticed it's not just about aging and getting older, it is simply age: those numbers have a way of getting under our skin.

I'm turning 29 on Sunday. I'm not afraid of this number; on the contrary, I completely agree with Susan Sarandon's quote above. It seems the longer we're on this planet, the less it begins to matter what the number is. Because really, it is just a number, but I will admit I find myself giving the numbers too much attention.

I liked the idea of In Time, you know that movie with Justin Timberlake where everyone stops aging after a specific age so that their age doesn't matter, it's the time they have left. This was a rather mind-blowing concept to me. If you knew how much time you had left on this planet with the people you loved most, what would you do with that time? I'm assuming complaining about the wrinkles around your eyes would not be something you'd be wasting that time with.

Watching celebrities age the last few decades makes one realize the vastness of not just what lengths people will go to look young, but how many advancements there have been in technology and medicine that focus on aging. It seems with all that technology there would be more focus on finding cures for things like world hunger or the health of our planet (not to say that there aren't people out there giving focus to such meaningful endeavors, but still the obsession with aging is ridiculous. I mean really, do your lips actually need to be bigger, or do you just have nothing better to do with your money?). I'm telling you right now, it's not going to matter how young you look when our planet no longer sustains human life.

Yes, perhaps I'm exaggerating, and yes, this is something most of us have zero control over. I'm usually the one preaching about how little good it does you to complain and worry about things you can't control (not to mention, that gives you more wrinkles).

But looking at age in a healthy way is something you can control. Appreciating what you have instead of wishing for things you don't have is part of growing up. "Aging gracefully" is a mindset I'm trying to embrace. Quite frankly, doing anything gracefully can come with age, it just takes practice. Learning to trust the knowledge I have as wisdom instead of just happenstance. And more often than not, letting that optimistic, almost child-like part of myself win over the pessimistic and critical part. The last thing I want is to turn cynical, and there have been times lately where I've felt myself on the edge of that. I get fed up, frustrated with hearing and seeing the same crap over and over. I find myself doing what I despise hearing from other people: I start complaining.

Honesty is the best cure. It's so much easier than the lies and half-truths we tell ourselves. In the coming decades, I'd like to be able to say that I'm done with wasting my time with the little things like my age and all those numbers, and I only spend what time I have living.

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