The Funny Thing About Age

by Anna

Time has been measured for millenia, initially by watching the sun rise and set, using sun dials, then with water clocks and astronomical and later more precisely with mechanical clocks. Age nowadays is a number which is measured by the system based on the theory that a minute has 60 seconds. Let’s assume that without a precise measurement of time we would simply be as old as we feel. How much more relaxed we would be! In some parts of the world, people don’t know their exact date of birth. How old would you feel if you didn’t know which day you were born? Maya Fiennes (Kundalini Yoga Teacher) says that age is measured by the flexibility of the spine. So to stay young, she says, stay flexible.

What are numbers and days anyway? I’m almost certain that at some point in your life you felt offended because someone misjudged your age and thought you were older than you actually were, or asked for your ID because you appeared too young to buy that bottle of wine.

Some feel older than their horological age, others feel younger. When I was in my early twenties, I felt much older, and interestingly was thought to be in my late twenties by many people. I was mature, self-reliant and very focused. Over the last few years, having arrived at the end of my twenties, I suddenly felt so much younger. And inevitably was judged to be in my early twenties. Very flattering, I’m telling you 😉

The thing is, when we are young, we try so hard to be all grown up and mature so that we can be seen as a reliable person, to get into clubs, by alcohol and do all sorts of things we believe grown-ups do. I think I personally was just way too responsible a child. However, there comes a pivot point, after which we suddenly realise that we are slowly, but surely, getting old and suddenly experience a second youth (hopefully way before the midlife crisis), where we try to catch up on all the fun we missed pretending to be grown-up. For me it ironically came after I managed to escape from a very possessive relationship, after which I had a phase in which I aimed my life on enjoying myself, which somehow made me feel and look younger. I had lost some weight too, which helped 🙂

Today, I happened to talk to a Spanish girl, which I judged as a 16 year old foreign language student. How wrong I was! She was a foreign language student from Spain, but she was 32! She in turn estimated my age at 34, which is a total of five years more! And do you know what? I actually do feel a little bit older. It’s almost like I have already settled on being in my thirties when I turned 29 at the beginning of the year. And I feel comfortable with it. I am by no means scared of the big “three 0”. In fact, I am rather curious what it will bring. I think, from my current standpoint, that the thirties are an exiting time for developing yourself and settling into a life that you choose and have worked towards. Whereas the twenties were my favourites so far, because of the potential to discover yourself and the world without having to worry too much about commitment and settling down, unless that’s what you want.

I suppose it is good timing that I met Mr. Perfect at the end of my decade of discovery and that I am now ready to settle. And I also feel like I have found a job and interests that I enjoy. I still continue to learn more, but for the first time in my life I feel like I am going somewhere, instead of aimlessly progressing by trial and error. I feel extremely happy where and who I am. It was fun though, just trying!

What I find fascinating as well is to realise that those, who have arrived at a pretty good old age, feel no older than maybe twenty or thirty. It is their mind that creates their idea of self, just their body ages naturally with time. Sometimes, the mind diminishes before our body gives up, which is sad, but also a reminder to live in the present moment and enjoy every day we have.

There will always be days where we say that we feel old. Maybe, the next time you catch yourself saying it, stop for a moment and think what it is that makes you feel old. Maybe you see that it is just a moment of tiredness, which can be resolved with a good night’s sleep. Maybe you really are at an old age, in which case I can only congratulate. And remember: if you want to stay young, stay flexible! And that concerns the body just as much as the mind.