How Old Are We, Really?



People say, Age is an attitude, that it isn’t how old you are, but how you are old. I’ve also heard, Age is a matter of mind; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. Others advise us that, Age is just a number. Yet my accountant reminds me, numbers count. So what’s the number? How Old Are We, Really?

documentsIt seems like a straight up question, easy enough to answer with sufficient evidence to back us up. I’m not a betting man until now, but I’m willing to wager lunch that no one will find the answer to the title of this Second Opinion by consulting any of the following, otherwise, reliable documents. Neither your government Drivers License, nor your Passport, if you are lucky enough to need one, not even the standard barrier of our identity, our Birth Certificates, can answer the question, How Old Are We, Really?

DSC03501-CFor some odd reason, I’m one who is fascinated by esoteric questions, such as, how much does it cost if it’s free? What is the sound of one hand clapping? Is there a third possibility to the question of the glass being half full or half empty? How old are we, really?

In being a professional listener for nearly forty-years, I rarely answer first questions. Doing so prevents engaging the second more pertinent question, which typically reveals more personal information. The art of understanding comes through listening deeply to uncover the primary unarticulated question. In this case the question in the title merely provides the clue to answering the primary, second question and subject of this article? When does Aging begin? Once you understand the title question, you’ll realize I provided you one obvious hint by the title’s emphasis on the word, Really. Here’s another:

It’s a fact, May 4, I reached 69 years of Age, but just as true by August of this same year, I will celebrate 70 years of Age.

This is neither a moral nor religious question. I’m not asking when life begins. I’m asking when does the Aging process begin? We know as fact, our birth mothers deliver us at approximately 9 months of Age. For the preemies, you’ll have to do your own math. Why is it in so many societies that once we are delivered and the pregnancy is complete, we get no credit for the first 9 months of development, and our Age accounting starts again at zero? My Second Opinion is that it’s time we began celebrating our true Age, rather than just our Birth.

The following poem by an author unknown to me, summarizes the point of this article better than I ever could:

“I refuse as I age to deny my years.

When asked at thirty, I’ll be thirty.

When the question comes up at forty-five,

For what year could I subtract?

The one in which my son or daughter was born?

Or the year I first fell in love?

How about one less favorable?

Like the year I came down with pneumonia.

Or one of those grief-filled years spent saying good-bye to someone close?

Maybe I could choose the seemingly insignificant.

That year I saw a falling star?

Or the not enthralled with life, just content with it?

No, I think I’ll keep them all, the good years, the bad and even the not so memorable.

To deny one would be to deny myself.

Because added up, they are my life.”