Growing Old with Grace

I love the saying that I have seen going around “I hate it when I see some old person, then realize that we went to high school together”.  

It’s funny because I find that as I get older, I realize that I have no idea how old people really are.  I look at some people and truly cannot begin to guess their age. And then am glad that I didn’t guess because boy was I wrong inside my head.

The one thing that I know for sure is that when I was young, people were ‘old’ a whole lot younger than they are now.

Now, I realize too that it had something to do with my age.  I remember realizing that when the millennium was going to change to 2000, I was going to be too old to enjoy the celebration.  I must have been around 12 and that meant that at 12 I thought 34 was ancient. But, I also remember looking at my grandma and she was grey haired, wrinkled, and kind of hobbled when she walked.  She passed at 72 and that felt really old. Was it really just my perception or are people aging just a little better than they used to?

The actual answer is that yes, we are living longer.

The statistics show the average life expectancy in North America for those born in 2017, in Canada, is 79 years for males and 81 years for females. For the year that I was born, 1965 the average life expectancy for males was 68 and for females 78.  Oh, my!

So, by those statistics, we should be looking and feeling younger as we age.  How about that, it isn’t my imagination that we look better at our age than our parents and grandparents did at the same age.

That brings me to my next question, why?  

  • Are we living a healthier lifestyle?
  • Are we eating better?
  • Is it all the chemicals we eat?
  • Are we that much better off?
  • I don’t really have any idea. It may be all of that or some of that.  It may be none of that. But we are going to live longer than the last generation, so what are you going to do about that?

When we, Doug and I, made the decision to get healthy and lose our extra lbs coming up 7 years ago it didn’t occur to me how this would affect our kids and subsequent grandkids.  At the time it was all about us. Our health. Our need to never allow ourselves to become this unhealthy again. But through our journey, we realized how our actions were impacting our kids.

I truly didn’t give much thought to how much our change would change our kids.  Our family has never been a family of just sitting around, but making a conscious effort to get up and move is now a constant thing and a great habit that is now part of our world.

We also eat way better than we did as kids and way better than the way we fed our kids.  I wish that I had this knowledge when I was raising little ones. Although it’s never too late, our grown kids all have so much knowledge about nutrition and it is already passing on to our grandson.

So although we are living longer, it is super important to make sure that you are not just living, but thriving in the life that you are living.  Making smart choices that not only will improve your health but also improve your lifestyle and will be something that you can pass onto the next generation.  If the stats are to be believed, our kids and grandkids will outlive us and will need to be shown a good foundation to have a really great productive life.

This means to me that we should be;

  • trying new foods.  
  • Sitting less, laughing more.
  • Learning all we can, passing all that knowledge on.  
  • Trying new activities, enjoying the sun.
  • Drinking more water, listening to the rain.  
  • We are meant to love the life we have not the one we thought we were going to get.
  • So, pass on the zest for life and show the world that you can age gracefully, energetically and not just gather cobwebs in the corner.

 

I have known plenty of people who, in their later years, had the energy of children and the kind of curiosity and fascination with things like little children. I think we can keep that, and I think it's important to keep that part of staying young. But I also think it's great fun growing old. – Johnny Depp

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