Age is just a number, as the saying goes. That means age doesn’t matter; your outlook and attitude do. Is that true?
As we older Boomers start turning age 71, age does start to matter less. By this time, we’ve passed the threshold of age 55 (the senior discounts year), age 65 (Medicare year), and age 70 (the starting minimal distributions for withdrawing part of our IRAs year).
In high school, our friends were within one or two grades of us. As seniors, we eschewed freshman and even occasionally gave sophomores a frosty shoulder. Only juniors and seniors were allowed in our circle. Now, in our golden years, we enjoy the company of people in all age brackets. We’ll gladly hang out with people a decade younger than us, or a couple of decades older than us.
Related: 4 Tips for Aging Better
We’re also reminded that age is just a number when we observe the various conditions of people the same age. The conditions range from physical and mental to emotional and financial. We’re all over the place on the spectrum. Age matters less than other things that affect our lives, doesn’t it?
On the other hand, time marches on. If you are turning 71 now, you’ll hopefully be turning 81 in 10 short years, and 90 in 19 years. Think back to 10 years ago. How long ago does that seem? Not very long—it was like yesterday!
Undoubtedly, age does take its toll on us. No one is immune to its effects. Aging gracefully with a positive attitude takes an effort. There’s no questioning that.
Here’s the good news: We’re all in this together. All of us are soldiers marching on in the war against time. We are all losing spouses and classmates to death. My high school class has a Facebook page set up for death announcements, and I get notifications almost daily when another solider has lost the battle to time. Longtime friends get dementia and it could happen to you or your spouse as well. There are no guarantees, but we know that by now.
Yes, there are a lot of things for us Boomers to worry about.
But there are also lot of things to enjoy and look forward to. By this time, a lot of you are enjoying your grandkids. Some of you may even have great-grandchildren! I see people going to the gym, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors. I just came back from the National Senior Games, and the fun and energy from that event have stayed with me.
People are volunteering and supporting causes they believe in. Some people are enjoying their church families. As an avid traveler myself, I know that many really enjoying traveling and exploring this great, bit world. People strive to keep learning, to expand their knowledge. Many are avid bookworms, while others enjoy lazy days on the couch. Everyone enjoys something different, and that’s a wonderful thing!
So, in other words, enjoy the day. The future is now. Do something you like to do. Travel while you can. Learn something new. Walk in the park. Help someone else. And remember—age doesn’t matter, but your mindset does. The only thing holding you back is yourself.
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Originally published December 13, 2022