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Ageless in An Age of Ageism

The reality that I am on Medicare has caused me to think quite a lot lately about my age.

Please don’t misunderstand . . . I’m perfectly comfortable with my age and comfortable in my own skin. I like my age. It’s the perfect reason to do all the things I want (and can afford) to do, and an excellent, reasonable excuse not to do anything I simple don’t care to do. Also, I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the wisdom I’ve developed (although some will likely question that) over the years.

But this is what has been on my mind: I don’t know what 67 is supposed to look like. In terms of appearance I don’t think I look 67, but that may be attributable to 67 year old eyes. I certainly don’t feel my age; in fact, I can do everything now that I could do at thirty, but maybe not quite as vigorously. And I definitely don’t think like most guys my age . . . I like new experiences, learning new things, music, theater, reading, writing and travel. By the way, I still love my job and work every day.

My observation is that most folks, men and women, get to a certain age and begin to think it’s time to roll over and give up. They don’t believe they have anything more to learn, give, contribute or experience. And sadly, much of society reinforces those beliefs. I recently read an article about how younger gay men are dismissive of us older guys in social settings, but I’m convinced this happens among all demographics in a variety of settings.

Many of my friends have said “age is just a number” (sometimes it’s a big number) and they are right. I don’t want to let my numerical age determine how I live and what I do. I would suggest that you, whether younger or older, shouldn’t allow that number to define you either, because we are all capable of living fully, learning voraciously and contributing significantly despite age. I’m getting older, but I simply refuse to get old. I intend to live as though I’m ageless. And you should also.

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