Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Fountain of Youth

Today I read a news piece about a woman who just turned 105! Best of all she is well and volunteers at her local hospital. Despite having good genes - likely a prerequisite to living so long and healthy - it seems to me that she has somehow figured the secret to staying 'young' and vibrant.

Whenever you hear about people reaching 100 or more, the question the interviewer always asks is: what is your secret to longevity? The most common answer given seems to always have to do with healthy living (though sometimes its 'a drink a day') but,  maybe it's more than that. Perhaps it's a mix of many things - one part genes for sure, one part healthy living, one part healthy attitude and probably several other factors as well. But assuming things we can't control - like our genes - what makes the difference between ageing well and not ageing well?

Ageing is inevitable and is far better than the alternative, but it seems like many are searching for the 'fountain of youth'. Maybe that fountain is in our heads........ What keeps you young and what makes you feel old? Is it true that you are only as old as you feel? Does an ageing body always necessitate an ageing attitude?

I met someone recently who never tells anyone her birth year - she says it creates restrictions on what she can do if people know her age! She doesn't feel her age and with her attitude, simply doesn't look her age either.

I think that seniors of today are in fact 'younger'  in spirit and likely healthier than seniors of the past - many work well past traditional retirement or volunteer for many years after retirement. Many travel and have hobbies. Many exercise and worry about healthy eating. They aren't defining their abilities by the number on their birth certificate. It's about attitude, feeling vibrant and useful and a willingness to learn. Could this be the real fountain of youth?

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