It’s said that age is a state of mind and that we’re only as old as we feel. Perhaps. But the mirror tells us otherwise. A state of mind isn’t going to hold back the wrinkles or the expanding waistline or the stiff back. Or is it?
You see, it occurs to me that as people get older, they tend to make changes to their behaviour that are likely to accelerate the effects of ageing.
Consider a group of parents with their young children. The parents are the ones sitting down, glugging white wine and discussing house prices. The kids are the ones running around like maniacs, shouting, “Ooooh!” and “Aaah!” Which behaviour type do you think is most likely to keep you young?
Teenagers sleep late, have few money worries (despite having no money), have no responsibilities (apparently) and tend to run around and be active (when not watching TV or playing video games).
But as soon as teens become young adults, things start to go wrong. They still sleep late, but now they stay up late as well, depriving themselves of sleep. They have some money, but they start to worry about it. They still have no responsibilities, but people tell them it’s about time they did. They stop running around. They also start drinking and perhaps smoking or worse.
Then they settle down and start families. This is where things really take a turn for the worse. Now they have to get up early to go to work, but they still insist on staying up late. If they have kids they get even less sleep than before. They have more money but they worry about it more than ever. Responsibilities start to pile up. They never take any exercise. And the drinking increases (who can blame them?)
So it seems to me that society pushes us towards lifestyle choices that tend to accelerate ageing. That’s why, when I’ve finished this blog I’m going to run around the garden, shouting, “Eeeeeeh!” and ignoring all my jobs and responsibilities for the rest of the day. I suggest you do the same.