Funny thing about aging

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Random musings this week beginning with how it’s good to see many new faces in the gym, the pool and arena – obviously there are lots of people that have geared up to be more active in 2017. We also saw an increase in skating prior to and over the Christmas holidays especially with public skating and drop-in hockey. At one point, both benches were so full that latecomers opted not to join as ice time becomes scarcer with large crowds – somewhat reminiscent of a decade or two ago when people seemed to have more time for that type of recreation. Maybe, just maybe the reduced interest of younger generations in this type of sport coupled with the inevitable creep of time on previous regulars has led us here.

Funny thing about aging; it starts the day we enter this world. Society, or at least advertising, leads us to believe we should fight tooth and nail to do go around it rather than through it. This is why we have Botox shots, injections to fill sags, teeth whitening, face lifting and garments that put things back where they used to be. Our commercials say you will wake up looking younger, feeling revitalized. What if you are not supposed to? What if you are so busy avoiding wrinkles, greying and baldness that you are missing the awareness of the inherent value that you hopefully have gained over your time? Aging, for many, brings discernment and allows you to use your hard earned powers of understanding – intellectual, emotional and spiritual – to distinguish what is good for you and what is not: helpful vs unhelpful; what matters and what doesn’t. Perhaps that’s wisdom, and we all are at different levels; sometimes it seems some have gotten off the bus earlier than others.

I recently listened to a show where a dancer related how their lifespan was about 35 years and her struggle to come to terms with the realization that she could no longer do what she once could. It is a grieving process that we all encounter: whether it’s not being able to carry as much as we once could, remember things as well, or move as fluidly as we once did. I realized a while back when wrestling with my son is that I had to really work at it and rather than turn into a panic filled, bulging eyes struggle, you accept that he is where you were a few decades ago and it’s supposed to be that way. It’s most likely a case of the mind writing cheques that the body couldn’t cash anymore. Unlike the commercial, I’m okay with not waking up younger – maybe I’ll focus more on honing my discernment.

I believe staying active, eating properly and in moderation, seeing your doctor regularly, and paying attention to what your body is telling you will probably do as much or more than spending excessive amounts of energy trying to dodge around the inescapable. As with everything, it’s just a matter of finding the balance that works for you and, while aging is inevitable, how you age is entirely up to you.