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Sunday, October 26, 2014

A NUMBER OF OPTIONS

So tomorrow is a big number for me on the birthday scale, at least it seemed big back when I was a teenager.  Back then, to me a woman in their mid-fifties had permed, gray hair, wore stretch pants, and dangled with one foot in the grave.

Do I ever feel that way?  Well, there are days, but luckily, very few so far. But enough about me, let's take a look at some people who've "thought outside their age-box."

How about endurance swimmer Diana Nyad?  At sixty-four, she accomplished what very few could do, no matter their age.  Her fifty-three hour swim from Cuba to Florida would've knocked out just about any twenty-year-old. What a woman!

Or Laura Ingalls Wilder, who published her first book at age sixty-four (see, I'm young by her standards!) 

And Nelson Mandela was seventy-five when elected president of South Africa.

Now let's have a gander at the Rolling Stones.  If you'd have asked them when they started performing if they thought they'd still be hopping around on stage fifty years later, they'd have laughed in your face and said they wouldn't even be alive fifty years later.  Yet, here they are, rockin away!

Then there's the other end of the spectrum - children absorb so much at such a young age, learning more now because we no longer assume they're too young (to read, do math, learn a second language...) Our expectations have changed over the years now that we understand what sponges their young brains are.

Look at Louis Braille, who was a teenager when he invented the raised dots system, known as Braille, and became a teacher of Braille at nineteen.

Jaylen Bledsoe, fifteen, started his own tech company that specializes in web design and IT services, when he was thirteen.  His company is now worth about $3.5 million.

When Ryan Hreljac was six and heard about children in Africa walking long distances to get water, he raised money to build a well for them.  A year later, Ryan's first well was built. Over a dozen years later, Ryan's Well Foundation has completed nearly 700 projects.

If someone told these people they were too young to accomplish great things, they obviously didn't listen.  Good for them!  Do we let the numbers on our driver's license dictate our accomplishments, our dreams, our lives?

Is it all based on what we perceive our life should be at a certain age?  For example, I don't think I had envisioned hosting both pimples and chin hairs at age fifty-five! (What?  Was that TMI?)


So, I'm curious (yes, I've been told I ask too many questions!) If you had amnesia and someone asked how old you felt you were, what would you say
?  And why?



8 comments:

  1. A happy and healthy birthday to you! The first number that pops into my head is 35. I turned 50 earlier this month, and I'm in shock, clinging to the idea of 49. But I believe if you continue learning, challenging yourself, and growing, then you're still young. And you should definitely eat cake!

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    1. So true, Lorrie! I look at my parents and many others in their eighties and nineties, learning new things every day, and keeping people in their lives so they have human interaction. Fifty wasn’t so bad, was it? ;) Thanks for the birthday wishes ~ I’m focusing on the “healthy” part!

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  2. Trying again, Jill. (Though the first draft last night had more oomph to it.)

    Happy, happy birthday, you young thing.

    Michael and I took off sailing when I was a year older than you are now. What a way to stay young. Barring ill health (or a back that sometimes screams too loudly for me to think), how old we feel seems all about attitude, about keeping busy, creating, remembering to play, and seeing the glass as half-full and never half-empty. So, my friend, kick up those heels, dance with joy, and ignore the chin hairs (or pull them out), the sagging upper arms (that I assumed would never happen to me--not with all those exercises!) and a neck that doesn't lie about the decades passing. There is beauty all around, new adventures awaiting, books to write, and friends to find and cultivate.

    Woohoo!

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    1. Beautifully said, Normandie! Yes, I think most people now see their age is "young" compared to what past generations lived through, our lives are much easier, easier to be healthy and live longer. I was very happy to find out how old Laura Ingalls Wilder was when she first published - gives me great hope! :) I have an uncle who loved to sail and he said the same thing. Sailing brought him happiness and peace, and made him feel young. We all need something like that in our lives to keep us "young in spirit"!

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  3. I won't assign a number, as those that know me would find it ridiculous, however, that may account for my often age-inappropriate dress and actions. To those' I can only say' that old adage "you're only as old as you fee (and act)l" is 100% true.
    Each day everyone wakes and has the power to decide just how happy they choose to be; and acts accordingly. No big secret revelation coming from this girl. Happy birthday to someone who will continue to look and act young for many years to come!

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    1. Great post, JoAnn! You are a perfect example of living life to the fullest and looking and living "youthful" with a positive attitude. There is so much living to do in the years to come, and I look forward to them!

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  4. Have a wonderful day. Heading out the door to go sailing from Santa Barbara. Wishing you the best, Beth

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    1. Thanks, Beth. Sailing sounds WONDERFUL! Have a safe and fun sail!

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