Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Mind Stays Young

"Youth is wasted on the young." George Bernard Shaw

To me, the hardest thing about getting older is that the mind ages much slower than the body. Although my body is older, weaker, slower and heavier, my brain still thinks my body is in its twenties. The physical disparity between one's twenties and forties or fifties is large but the mind doesn't seem to realize the difference.

I work with a couple retired men in their sixties and socialize with a number of guys in their forties and fifties. Here's some examples of how the mind ages slower than the body:

  • Physical injuries. I've seen men in their forties get significant injuries from average physical exertion. On guy injured his shoulder from Wii boxing. A couple others injured their back and feet from playing tennis, and are out for the season. Recently, one guy tore his bicep tendon while pushing a car in the snow. Rarely, do I hear a twenty-something guy getting such an injury. However, these injuries almost seem common in the forty to fifty group.
  • Perception of the opposite sex. Men in their forties and fifties still find women in their twenties attractive, because their minds are still at that age. However, women in their twenties see men in their forties and fifties as being their dads' age. They'd probably think "ewww" if the older guys flirted with them.
  • Self image. I still see myself as a twenty to thirty year old, instead of the old guy that I really am. In some ways, I have maintained some youthfulness. I only weigh 7 pounds more than my freshmen year in college, have all my hair, and have only a few grey strands.
  • As a colleague once said, "I keep redefining the age for being old." Since turning forty, I haven't felt as old as I really was. And after turning 50 in 2008, I realized that I am much older than I feel. I don't think my mind will ever make it past the thirties. Hopefully, through exercise and healthy eating, I can slow down the aging of my body too :-)

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    This is not financial or aging advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2009 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

    1 comment:

    Shadox said...

    Hey, I am 38 this year. I don't have all my hair. So, lucky you... :-)