Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Attitude of Age

Continuing on the theme of perception, I thought I’d talk about that dreaded thing called old age. Why are we so obsessed with age? Why do we spend ridiculous amounts of money on make up, chemicals, surgery, even airbrushing, in the never ending search for youthfulness? What are we so afraid of?

Some days I feel like 101 and yet other days I still feel like a teenager even though those years are long gone. Is it all just a matter of perception?

The European Social Survey (the ESS) polled 40 000 people to see the differing opinions of the definition of ‘old age’. Apparently those aged 15-24 thought that youth ended at just 28 and old age started at 54. However, those in their 80’s regard the final year of youth to be 42 and old age began at 67. These numbers also varied in differing countries. For example, in Portugal they were no longer young at 29, but in Cyprus it was 45. Even climate, education and types of jobs factor in the equation. If you feel younger then old age seems further away.

I often wonder what it will be like when my knees give out, my bones become brittle, my eyesight worsens and the wrinkles take root. And then I remember that regardless of how old we feel, despite the fear we carry deep down inside, our Lord reassures us that He will be there. He will be our strength when we are weak. He keeps us young in spirit.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)

Are you struggling with that label “old age”? What is the best thing about growing older? How do you keep young?


Andrea said...

I am struggling early with the frailties of this life, but clinging to a hope of a new body in HEAVEN.
Hugs, andrea

Alleluiabelle said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog tonight with your beautiful comment. I have become a follower of yours as well. I look forward in getting to know you better.

I have a sister-in-law who is from Australia...I can't tell you what part off the top of my head, but she now lives in Norfolk, VA and is married to my husband's brother. They actually met on an airplane as they sat side-by-side during their flight. My brother-in-law is now a pilot for Jet Blue.

It's so nice to meet you. I look forward to coming back here again.


Lynda Young said...

Andrea, yep, so am I :)

Alleluiabelle, welcome to my blog. Thanks so much for following. I love the story of your sister-in-law. Sounds like it was a great flight for her :)

Elizabeth Channel said...

Psalm 139 is my absolute favorite! When thinking about old age (I'm 43) and often look to my husband's grandmother who will turn 90 in June. She stays with us for several weeks throughout each year and we love her perspective. She is such a spunky, fun 89-year-old. She keeps up with the fashions and politics. I hope I have half her energy when I am that old!

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Amen! I am only 35, but it is my desire to grow older w/out worrying about it. I don't intend to color my hair. Although, I do confess that I am a lifelong Mary Kay user, trying to fight the wrinkles. But I am learning they are coming regardless. Oh well, I'll live with them too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog to visit. I hope you are having a great week!

Rose said...

I quit struggling with old won! Lol. In my mind I am young but my body says otherwise at times. Like when I spent too much time in the garden or played horse too long with my great grandson. I only think of it now in relation to the likely amount of time I have left to do what God want's me to do.

Cheri said...

Hi Lynda,

Thank you for dropping by my blog and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate hearing from readers.

I can definitely identify with the struggle with "old age." I just turned 50, am a grandmother of three, and I am starting to have issues with my eyesight and my hearing... as well as the inevitable struggle with g-r-a-v-i-t-y!

But even though I feel the physical effects of aging, I am loving the season of life I am in now. My "baby" is eighteen and just started college. I have a new kind of relationship with my four kids. I like it.

So, I'm hanging on to God to see where the rest of this life is going to take me!


Lynda Young said...

Elizabeth - that's fantastic about your grandmother. I have no living grandparents and haven't since I was about 3 or 4. I think the key to staying young is being active :)

Alicia - so brave! I was colouring my hair from about 24 onwards and haven't stopped since. My whole family apparently go salt n papper grey by the time they are only 25.

Rose - Yep, I'm feeling it occasionally too. When I strain a muscle it doesn't mend as fast as it used to when I was just a teenager. I love your attitude.

Cheri - Yes absolutely! When we were 'young' we didn't know what we know now and what we will know years from now. The bonus of aging is the learning and being more content within oneself.

Lynda Young said...

oh! I forgot to mention that the photo is of a petrified forest on the coast of Victoria, Australia. The forest of Moondah trees is supposedly 10 000 years old.

Cherylg said...

Hi Lynda. I myself will be 50 in July and am trying to get used to the #50 and don't like all the wrinkles coming in, but this is life. I can deal with the gray though and look forward to having white hair like my grandmother.

I have the priviledge of spending time with my 4 beautiful grandchildren which I would never have known if it wasn't for the aging factor. Sooo I guess getting old isn't that bad when I look at it this way. Hoping that my life will cause them to look into the things of God. I am praying that in my old age I will inspire others to. Does not the scriptures lift up the hoary head?

I am thankful that each day is a new day.

C - Calgary, Alberta