I have a friend who is getting ready to turn 57 years old in September. He told me he was dreading this birthday because 57 just sounds old. I remarked, “but 56 doesn’t?” We laughed and he said something about turning this age really bothered him. I then remarked that we are as only as old as we feel. “Well, I feel 57.”
I pondered that for quite awhile. What does 57 feel like? What was 40 supposed to feel like? Does anyone really know?
As fate would have it, a few days later I am scrolling through social media and I come across an interview with Prince where he was talking about age and birthdays. The reporter asked Prince how he felt getting ready to turn 40. He said, “I am?” The reporter said, “Yes, you will turn 40 this year. Do you not know how old you will be?”
Now, I am not sure what I expected next but what Prince said really struck me and it was extremely profound. “I stopped counting my age a long time ago. We put expectations on ages. Time is something we created in order to measure the span of our lives.”
Remember growing up when if someone turned 40 you thought that was old and you would never reach that age? Well, we did and guess what, we are here and some, much older than 40. Also, who put the binders on these ages? When we turn 50, society as conditioned us that our back should start hurting, or our knees even though they don’t. Lord, at 60 it is basically over.
I will turn 55 this October and I really couldn’t care less. I feel better now then I did at 25. I see people of all ages at the gym every day and one man is 74 years old. He said, “74 might be my age, but it is not who I am. And it will never be.”
Love it and he is there five times a week. Look at Mick Jagger. He is over 80 years old and still going strong. I thought 80 year old’s were supposed to be in a home and in bed by 4? You think Jagger wakes up going, “Geez, I am 80. I shouldn’t be doing this.” No.
I guess my point is, and one that I wanted to tell my friend, stop letting numbers determine who you are and how you feel. I always thought that was hogwash when someone said, “You are only as old as you feel.” Turns out, it is pretty darn accurate.
I say if you have a birthday, let’s celebrate that you are still here and we love you. Let’s just put one candle on the cake and live life.