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Perceptions on Aging

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Do you remember laying in the grass and seeing all kinds of images in the clouds? Of course we know they are not really castles or faces or animals. Illusions, delightful or terrifying. Our perceptions.

Most things we learn in life are based on our perceptions. That's why two people can see the same thing and see something different. And if something is said often enough, we may even accept it as truth. Some things are beyond our understanding and we accept it as truth even though we don't fully comprehend the details, like how electricity works. It is enough to know that if we turn on a light switch, electricity will cause the light to shine.

Age is a number. It's a fact. It's a perception. It's an illusion.
When we are young, we feel invincible. When we are middle aged, we still feel like there is a lot of time yet. As long as the older generation is still alive, it skews our perception. Usually children outlive their parents. If we still have a parent, we have the illusion of a safety net against our own mortality.

Dad (at 91) and me in 2008

Then comes the day when we say good-bye to our last parent. Suddenly we realize we are not only orphans, we have also become the older generation. It happened when we weren't looking.
Nothing really changed in that one day. It was an imaginary line we crossed. Are we really older now?

Age is a number, but the bodies of two people who are the same age tell a different story.

Some of it is genetics. Some of it is what we do: how we eat, how active we are, our mental outlook, our indulgences, maybe even how we perceive ourselves. There are so many things that factor into our body's aging.

Isn't older a relative term? Older than what? In my lifetime, I've seen age go from something that was revered to something that is abhorred. Age with grace, my friends. I love knowing everything I know now that a younger person cannot even imagine yet, but they will someday.

Don't let anyone else write the end to your story. Be brave and courageous. Enjoy every day. Dance when you want. Sing with gusto. Live with passion. As I write this, I am getting an insane urge to break dance!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My favorite thing is when people say "how soon until you retire?" and I say when I can't get up from the floor! I work with preschoolers and we spend allot of time on the floor. I'm 67 and loving my kiddos!
    339 days ago
    Great post thank you.
    339 days ago
    Thanks for this blog. We truly are as young as we feel. A positive attitude and a love of life as well as a healthy diet and some daily exercise gives us a good chance to age gracefully.
    339 days ago
    M’y mother passed 14 years ago and my step-dad 5 years later. I was an only child until earlier this year.
    M’y problem, although I am only 64 is that my spinal cord is double my age, birth is what it is, I have been told that I look younger than my are right..age is a perception, even if our bodies betray us.... emoticon emoticon
    339 days ago
    You know, my parents both died w/in 3 mths. of each other in 2017. I felt like an orphan! I became the older generation in my family! YIKES. But I kinda like it. I do my best to stay strong and healthy. That's what life is all about.

    Thank you for this thoughtful blog. And mu condolences on the loss of your parents. It's hard!
    340 days ago
    emoticon Great blog. Attitude overcomes so much.
    340 days ago
    Healthy choices and a good attitude make the difference. Loved the photo of you and your Dad. emoticon
    340 days ago
    Yes, I have very similar thoughts about aging and have made it my mantra that chronology is irrelevant. Ever since high school biology class, I've tended to believe that it is more about genetics. But it's what we do with the hand we are dealt. Have a wonderful day. Terrific blog.
    340 days ago
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