I just don’t understand why some people get so upset about upcoming birthdays, and hate the thought of getting older. Like my mama says, it’s better than the alternative, isn’t it? And if you make it to an age so-high-you-can-brag-about-it with your mind and body intact, all the better!
Physically, I know, there are so many factors that are just completely outside of your control. Some people are just naturally more likely to develop different medical conditions, because of genetics, or environment, or a combination of things. But honestly, overall, I think your mentality through life, and your mental health, plays a much bigger role in how well you age.
“You’re only as old as you feel” is one of those cliche phrases I think rings true. If you stay positive and hold onto a little bit of childish, carefree joy, you’re gonna feel a whole lot better than if you let yourself grow bitter and crotchety with age. At any age, you feel better all over, even physically, when you’re a happier human. Positivity holds a lot of power in your life, as trite as that may sound.
I know I’m forever preaching that “yoga fixes everything” (I swear, in 98.7% of cases, IT DOES), and I’m saying it again now. Yoga keeps you young, I’m sure of it! It keeps your body strong, bendy, and active, and it keeps your mind in a calmer, happier, saner state. All of which helps to keep you feeling young. I’m reminded of the magic of yoga when I see older ladies joining me in a yoga class, and it makes me so happy. I love that they’re there, still doin’ their yoga thing, and not letting something silly like age stop them from doing what they love.
A few months ago now, I was waiting outside the studio before a hot yoga class, and got to talking with an older, lovely lady who has stayed in my mind ever since. She was maybe in her earlier seventies, but so youthful! So bright and cheerful and full of life. She told me she’d been coming to the studio faithfully since they’d opened several years ago, taking in classes three or four days a week. For anyone, that is admirable dedication, but at that age?! You go, girl!
I watched her a bit through class, and I was even more amazed that she kept up! Listen, I would have been impressed if she’d gone into that class and spent the whole hour in child’s pose. But here she was, at 70-odd-years-old, vinyasa-ing like a champ. #GOALS!!
In the scheme of things, I have no idea who that lady is, and I probably wouldn’t even recognize her if we ran into each other again. But she’s earned herself a spot on my mental list of role models and aspirations of what kind of person I’d like to be. I can only hope I get to her age or older and still have a body and brain that cooperate.
With any luck, someday I’ll be a crazy old hippie lady, with long grey hair and faded tattoos and still doing downward-facing dogs. I hope I maintain my mom’s attitude, and appreciate the gift of getting older, rather than letting that growing number defeat me. I’ve got a lot of time before that, though, so my best bet is to keep up the yoga and good vibes.