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The Aging Process: Reflecting on a 71st Birthday

A reflection that contextualizes how aging affects our behavior and health.

 Convegni_Ancisa, Pixabay, Public Domain
Source: Convegni_Ancisa, Pixabay, Public Domain

Birthdays can be a time for reflection, especially as we get older. Here are some thoughts that might be of value to my readers.

Ageism. Many people, even though chronologically old, are still at the top of their game. They may even be better than ever. After all, experience and wisdom have had longer to accrue. I use the fear of ageism to drive me to be my best. Do you fear being a victim of some “ism?” If so, are you using that to fuel you to be your best self?

Use of time. When I was younger, I wasn’t as careful to make the most of my time. Now, as I see my hourglass's sand dropping, I often ask myself, “Is this a good use of my time?” For some people, it’s about the pursuit of pleasure. At the risk of sanctimony, for me, it’s “Is this contributory?” Do you want to ask yourself more often, “Is this a good use of my time?”

The new mainstream. When I was growing up, a slogan such as “merit above all” would have been as noncontroversial as "be diligent." No longer. Today, the dominant value seems to be “equality above all," with merit a tainted value. While walking my dog, I was wearing a tee-shirt bearing the slogan “merit above all” on the pocket, and a passerby seethed, “Racist.”

In every generation, some older people lament what they perceive as the next generation’s folly. I guess I’m no different. My question for you: If you’re on board with “Equality Above All” rather than “Merit Above All,” to what extent is that borne of what you truly believe rather than merely following the crowd, the zeitgeist? And to what extent do your actions reflect your belief? And if you’re in a position to embrace, tolerate, censure or censor thought that diverges from The Orthodoxy, are you doing what the Wise One within you would do?

Health. While some of my age peers face serious diseases, I am fortunate to still be in good health—I am grateful for every healthy day. Also, aware that among the few things we can control about our health is our weight, I’ve long needed to lose a little weight but, here at my 71st birthday, I’m reminded that I really should take it off and keep it off lest that ambulance siren I often hear be for me. Are you taking your health for granted? Is there something you should commit to doing for your health?

The takeaway

Many of my posts offer a buffet of ideas in hopes that at least one will tempt you to sample it. This post is no exception.

I read this aloud on YouTube.