ARE YOU YEARS YOUNG….OR OLD??

 

Lani

I met this lovely gal at Trader Joe’s this morning. She was such a knockout in all blue that I asked her to, “Stand right where you are because I MUST take your picture!” She had just finished her 2 ½ mile daily walk, was grabbing some groceries then headed off to one of her two part-time jobs. Her gait was lively, her smile quick and her enthusiasm for life, palpable. Lani is a force and I was inspired not just because of her person but her chronological age. Can you guess it?

One of the best things about aging is that we’ve had years to learn that not only can you not judge a book by its’ cover, you can’t count on the cover to even give you a book. We make a lot of assumptions about others that are wrong and it can affect both our health and psyche negatively. Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, “Talking to Strangers,” gets at the heart of our prejudices and presuppositions about others. He writes, “When it comes to judgments about our own character and behavior, we are willing to entertain all manner of complexity but when it comes to making those same judgments about others, we are depressingly simplistic.”

Such is the case for Olympic athletes. One would assume that all three medalists would be equally ecstatic. It turns out that silver medalists are the most depressed ones on the podium. They have just missed the gold and their disappointment is much greater than the bronze winner who is thrilled to have medaled at all. Researchers have even shown higher rates of depression among silver medalists. It seems that most of us are victims of ‘counterfactual thinking.’ That is, instead of rejoicing in “what actually is,” we compare our objective achievements to what, “might have been.”

That, of course, is the toughest thing about aging: accepting what is and letting go of what was. Scientists know that what truly ages us is the eventual breakdown of our cells and their ability to repair themselves and divide. Recently researchers from the U of A have discovered that by altering the sleep patterns of cells they may be able to slow down the aging process. For now, though, that aging process is zipping by for most of us. The important thing is to shine in the moment—like Lani, who is 81 years young!!

 

4 thoughts on “ARE YOU YEARS YOUNG….OR OLD??

  1. Helen, that was a nice post about Lani! With your zest for life, I see you as a younger version of Lani! Take care! Enjoy every day!

    Steve

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  2. Thanks for sharing Helen! Lani looks terrific. I’m glad she is motivated to look her best at age 81! You undoubtedly made her day!

    What would I have done if I hadn’t met you so that you could put me on the correct path to great health?! Just had my body fat and body mass index calculated today. My body fat is 24.2 and my body mass index is 21.1–Wouldn’t have gotten to this state without your educational input about nutrition in 1975! Wish we lived closer, but someday I will get out west again! It has been SO rainy here this fall. Need to get myself dried out——from the humidity not the alcohol —LOL! –Doug Kroger

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