It is a question a lot of us ask, now that almost all baby boomers have reached their 60s and some their 70s: How Did I Get to Be So Old So Fast? It’s a question Irvine, California, certified wellness coach Lorie Eber is asking right now. Of course the good news is, if you’re healthy and active, this age stage is something to celebrate, not bemoan.
On the occasion of my 64th birthday, the Beatles lyrics from “When I’m 64” invaded my brain.
While I wouldn’t say that my body and brain are totally spent, they certainly show well-earned signs of wear and tear. I can’t even imagine myself maintaining the required concentration to put in 12-hour days as a corporate litigator.
My career change 15 years ago, which landed me in the health guru business, is a much more comfortable station in life. I can set my own hours and have successfully ratcheted down the stress level a few notches. Yet I still have to contend with my Type A perfectionist personality. I’ve hardly turned into a slacker. In fact, sometimes I think I work just as hard in my own business as I did as a high powered attorney, albeit at a much reduced salary.
Like any other life stage, aging is a mixed bag.
- I’m OK with Me. I’m much more comfortable in my skin. I no longer live in fear that people will figure out that I’m not a multi-talented genius who never makes a mistake. In fact, in the trial and error of running my start-up business, I fall on my face many more times than I hit one out of the park. I no longer try to hide my many shortcomings.
- I Don’t Care What You Think of Me. In my younger years I was more guarded in the way I expressed myself and was not above a bit of pandering to get in someone’s good graces. The older I get, the less inclined I am to spend my precious time cultivating negative or needy “friends.”
- I Don’t Want More Stuff. I don’t have the urge to buy more things just because I can afford them or because I’m tempted by the novelty factor. More stuff does not increase my happiness quotient.
- Aches, Pains, and Injuries. Aches and pains are the reality of aging. I feel lucky that most of mine are transient and more annoying than worrisome. I’ve come to peace with the notion that continuing my gym workouts means periodic injuries, along with a never ending series of adjustments in pursuit of pain avoidance.
- Fears about Incapacities. I worry about what is going to happen to my health in the future. Every time I sense that something is awry with my body, I immediately jump to unwarranted worst-case scenarios.
- Worries about Being Left Alone. My husband and I are lucky enough to have a fairy-tale marriage. But in some ways it’s a double edged storm. I know I won’t find another soulmate and since he’s seven years older than I, he’s likely to predecease me, not a happy prospect.
All in all, I’m far from enamored with aging, but I take solace in the fact that I live a healthy lifestyle and that’s the best I can do. I’m sticking with my mantra: “Healthy, Healthy, Healthy, Healthy, DEAD.”
Here’s where you can buy Lorie’s latest book, How to Ditch Your Fat Clothes for Good.