“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” I like this question as an alternate for “You are as old as you feel”. It makes me think: ‘How old do I think I am?’ I know how old I am, nearing 60 (yikes!). I know I have gone through decades of experiences and of course I am aging physically (hard to escape that), but ultimately, I feel roughly 35 to 40.
A living example of ignoring age is Dick Van Dyke, who, at almost 90, has just published a book– about aging. One of his pieces of advice is to “Keep Moving”. This video proves that he still can dance with great agility–even if you check out a minute of it you’ll see what I mean. The co-star is his wife.
Not everyone is as agile as Dick Van Dyke, even at thirty or younger. We all have different abilities, potentials, and degrees of wellness–so I take the ‘keep moving’ advice as meaning ‘use what you’ve got and enjoy life to your full personal potential’. And, as you’ll see in his own words below, moving is not only about physical activity, it’s about mental activity–creativity, thinking, writing, and so on.
“You don’t have to act your age. You don’t even have to feel it. And if it does attempt to elbow its way into your life, you do not have to pay attention. If I am out shopping and hear music playing in a store, I start to dance. If I want to sing, I sing. I read books and get excited about new ideas. I enjoy myself. I don’t think about the way I am supposed to act at my age – or at any age. As far as I know, there is no manual for old age. There is no test you have to pass. There is no way you have to behave. There is no such thing as ‘age appropriate.’
When people ask my secret to staying youthful at an age when getting up and down from your chair on your own is considered an accomplishment, you know what I tell them?”
– Dick Van Dyke from Keep Moving: And other Tips and Truths About Aging, 2015
This is what I want to remember: Life can’t be reduced to a number or calendar year–it’s about NOW–living with peace and happiness now. I used to have a music teacher, many moons ago, who loved to say “Now’s the time”. That about sums this up: keep moving; keep blood, breath, and creativity flowing — enjoy life now.
This post is being linked to Writer’s Quote Wednesday at Silver Threading. For more ‘food for thought’ please visit Silver Threading–to read Ronovan Hester’s reflections on a George Orwell quote, and to check out links to other WQW posts.