Think about where you will be when you are 85 years old. Will you be sitting in a nursing home in a wheelchair, with oxygen in your nose, glasses falling off of your face, hearing aide in your ear with a dead battery, and smelling like you expired about a week ago? Not me! I am only 27 years old, but I have often thought about this, and realized that you are only as old as you feel, and by feeling and acting young, you are able to stay young and healthy.
When I was 18 years old, I went to work at an Alzheimer’s care facility as a Certified Nurses Aide. I helped take care of people from the ages of 54-101 who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. The thing that I noticed is that one of the first things to go in Alzheimer’s victims is the loss of restraint. These dentists and preacher’s wives were acting like school children without a care in the world. What caught my attention was that they were all happy. No one had a care in the world. As I continue to grow older, I often think about these people. I do not wish this awful disease on myself, but I do hope that I can live life like them… with loss of restraint. I do think that we have to use good judgment, but at the same time you have to live each day to the fullest. You have to take each day in and truly appreciate what you are seeing. You cannot take the little things for granted, because they may not be there tomorrow. You may not be here tomorrow.
When I am with my three young daughters playing dress-up or making mud pies, I feel like I am a child again. I love to feel cold mud in between my toes and laugh until my cheeks hurt. I want to eat my ice cream before my dinner and sometimes I want my ice cream for dinner. All my life I have heard, “Act your age,” but I want to know why I should? My grandmother is 79 years old, but every weekend she goes and sings at country musicals, has “boyfriends” all over West Texas, and looks like she is not even 65. When you ask her what her secret is for staying so youthful looking, she says, “I don’t feel a day over 60.” I want to live like this. I want to teach my kids to live like this. Worry and stress of everyday life can make you depressed. That depression can lead to anger and hate, and that hate spreads like a wild fire. On the other hand, “Smile and the world smiles with you,” could not be truer. There is a new commercial about how one act of kindness seen by someone becomes like a snow ball effect. I think that this is how the kindness and goodness in people can be spread, and I think that by living each day only as young as you feel is how we can begin this snow ball.
As I continue to grow older, my friends tell me that I am so fun to be around. I enjoy having a good time and laughing at things that only I find funny. Why should I act my age? Life is too short to be boring. I have and will continue to live life to the fullest each and every day. I will enjoy each day without a care. As the years continue to pass by, I will always catch grasshoppers, color in coloring books, and flirt with my husband like we are still dating. I am only as old as I feel, and I only feel 18.
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