Reflections: Age is only a number!

Age is only a number!
By William L. Bulla

Someone recently asked me my age. When I told them they said, "Wow! I thought you were much younger than that!" Many people are sensitive about old age. You hear people say, "A person is as old as he feels," or "I don't have birthdays anymore". They don't reveal their age. Some people do not even admit that old age exists. They make comments like, "Age is only a number". Others spend a fortune trying to cover it up by trying to hide their wrinkles, dying their hair, or having facelifts to keep a youthful appearance. There are many ways people try to postpone old age. They try various products to keep looking and feeling young. They try traveling to relieve boredom and to give a sense of fulfillment.
Many people don't look their age--some are 60 years old and look like they are 80, and others who are 80 look like they are 60. Numerous people have told me they do not believe that I am in my eighties. I don't think about my age. I just continue to do the things I have always done. I am retired from work but I still keep as active as when I was employed. I believe that keeps me young. I had heard that physical activity is more powerful than any medication a senior can take. The active old people seem to stay young. Or, at least they think they are, and I believe that mindset helps keep them active. A great number of them contribute great service to their community through volunteer services to numerous non-profit organizations. Their years in the workplace have provided them with expertise that allows them to help meet the challenges facing those organizations today.
Many people dread growing old. The fear of old age often makes mental and physical wrecks of people -- they become old before their time. Old age is a mental attitude as well as a physical problem. Many people prefer to not discuss old age. Next to the subject of death, it is the least favorite topic. They use gadgets and programs to postpone old age.
Yes, it seems that everyone wants to live a long life, but no one wants to grow old. Old age, while unavoidable, is an undesirable part of our life that we all must live, until we leave this world. As life in this world becomes more complex, the fear of old age seems to increase. There was a time when those who reached a ripe-old age held an enviable place in society where they could really relax and enjoy their last years, knowing that they still commanded attention, respect and affection. They knew that though they were past their prime, all that they had given their best for was still important and so were they. This period was referred to as "the golden years."
I am enjoying my later years. I believe I am blessed as stated in the Bible: "...receive my sayings: and the years of thy life shall be many." (Proverbs 4:10)

William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.