Do NOT Act Your Age!

Image Credit: James Altucher

It is my birthday today and I am 45 years old. I love getting older. I mean, to be honest, I really don’t understand people who resist aging. I mean, I get it. In North America in particular, we tend to equate aging with degradation and decline. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t have to believe that aging equals pain and suffering. We can choose to believe that more years add wisdom, grace, humility and experience to our lives; we simply have to make choices that align with this belief system.

Personally, I see spending more time on the planet as a gift; a gift that allows me to see and do and be all sorts of things. And, frankly, what is the alternative? The alternative is that we are dead because we can’t be alive and not also aging at the same time. So, we can either resent the aging process or we can accept it as part of life if we are going to keep living.

Gord Downie‘s death last week–at the age of 53–and Tom Petty dying at the age of 66, both served as reminders that we need to be grateful for each day and to try to make a difference, no matter how small, in as many moments as possible. Because life is a gift and nothing is guaranteed.

Simply greeting someone with a genuine smile, holding a door, offering some uplifting words and choosing kindness (towards ourselves and others) as often as possible, are all ways we can make a difference each and every day we are alive.

On Sunday, I was blessed to celebrate with my family over brunch at one of my favourite restaurants. During the meal, I revealed that I hope to become a centenarian. In fact, I’ve chosen 104 as a good age to die. And I don’t feel that I’m just wishfully thinking. I believe that it is possible–even likely–for me if genes are on my side and if I continue to follow the habits of the world’s centenarians.

The research shows I am on my way. Along with the obvious factors like eating a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol, not smoking, reducing stress, getting quality sleep and developing meaningful connections, centenarians tend to have one thing in common: they don’t act their age.

They don’t just settle into a groove and stay there: they keep moving, growing, expanding and expressing themselves in all sorts of ways. They enjoy their lives and they continue to experience new things as they age. They don’t dwell on their age or death and yet they accept that dying is a part of life. 

I want to be like that.

As I age, I want to keep exploring the world with child-like curiosity. My dad taught me to be an enthusiast; someone who gets excited about life and people and others’ successes and who sees the best in others, knowing that the world is a kinder, gentler place when we collaborate rather than compete. I loved my dad dearly, and I want to honour him by enthusiastically enjoying life and the gifts it has to offer. And as I type, my mother is traveling abroad. She is 73 years young, takes zero medications and is in a healthy, committed relationship that fulfils her. I love that she is exploring parts of the world she has never been and will be able to return with wonderful stories that she’ll happily share.

Because life is short. 

Even if I live 100+ years, it’s still a blip on the timeline of human evolution.

So, whether or not I actually make it to 104, I am going to live my life as if I might. I will continue to prioritize my health by eating food that is food. By moving my body each and every day. By getting proper sleep. By keeping my stress levels low and by cultivating meaningful relationships.

And, most importantly, by not acting my age. 

I will embrace the aging process by understanding that it is a part of life that I must respect if I want to keep living. I will continue to push myself in ways that feel scary, so that I develop more courage. I will keep risking judgment in order to share more of who I really am. I will continue to be curious about myself and the world around me. I will make time to tell the people I love just how much they mean to me. And I will continue to seek out relationships, with people like you, who have made the last year of my life so incredibly special.

Thank you for being here. I hope that I have served you in some way over the last year. Because my entire life is rooted in service. It is all I’ve ever done and all I’ve ever known. Serving others is how I show up in the world and it is how I define my success in life.

I want to serve many, many more people as the days, weeks, months and years go on.

Because I want to love my life one bite at a time.

And I want the same for you.

P.S. How do YOU feel about aging? How old do YOU want to be before you die? I encourage you to think about this, as it helps shape the choices you will make while you’re alive. 


P.P.P.S. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. For joining, you get my personal meal plan, shopping list, and a week’s worth of easy, tasty recipes.



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