I truly believe that age is just a number.
My husband recently celebrated his 60th birthday. We were fortunate to have been able to take a weekend away with some of our good friends and really enjoy some downtime.
Because my husband is the first in our friend group to turn 60, there were plenty of 60-year-old jokes.
That’s just how society is when someone hits that next big decade number. There’s a lot of humor and joking about getting old.
It’s funny how just the idea of that number really messes with your head. When my husband’s birthday came, he said, “Ah, well, now I’m 60.”
But the truth is, my husband was exactly the same person he was the day before his birthday. He just had a new number.
And although the world defines us by our age, we don’t have to use that number to define ourselves.
Age is just a number, but the experience that comes with age is priceless.
Sure, I wake every morning and feel a bit stiff when I get out of bed. It may take me a little bit longer to get moving. There are certainly things that have changed as I grow older.
But when I look in the mirror, I still see someone young.
When we were celebrating my husband’s birthday, we were staying at a lake, and we both decided to jump off a rock into the water. We were only two of three people in our friend group who actually did it.
The rest of our friends looked at us like we were crazy. They’re all in their fifties and didn’t feel like they should be jumping off rocks.
I just turned fifty myself, but my husband and I knew we could do it, so we did. We weren’t about to let our age define us.
After all, age is just a number.
And although I was perfectly fine jumping off the rock into the lake, there are some things that I did in my twenties that I wouldn’t do today.
I still feel that I could physically do those things, but I actually choose not to do them anymore.
There are now risks that I’m willing to take and risks that I am not.
The difference between now and then is experience.
Experience has taught me to slow down and enjoy the journey.
When I was in my thirties, I was doing triathlons and injured my knee pretty badly.
My thought process was that I needed to jump right into surgery and get it fixed as soon as possible. That way, I could get right back to running.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way I expected, and there were complications with my surgery.
I’ve really never been able to run since.
If something like that were to happen to me today, I would slow down, review my options, and take the necessary time to see if it would heal all on its own.
I used to think life was a race to the finish line.
Now I understand that time is a great teacher, and there really is no finish line.
We can make a difference at any age, and there is always something new to learn and discover.
Experience has taught me how to let go.
When I was running, I couldn’t imagine a life without running. It was painful for me to let it go, which is why I jumped into surgery trying to fix my knee.
It was upsetting for me to think that I may never be able to run again.
And when things didn’t go my way, it was a real loss.
Today when I experience setbacks, I react differently.
If my 50-year-old self could talk to my 30-year-old self, I would say, “It’s okay. You can stop running, and you can do something different. It’s not the end of the world. And, who knows, you may find something you like even better.”
The truth is, I actually did find something I like better—motivational speaking. And it has given me a new lease on life.
Instead of focusing on what we’ve lost, we can look at all the other things there are to do in the world.
Experience has taught me to look at life differently.
There are certain things that would injure me now if I were to do them. But those same things could have injured me in my twenties as well. But I didn’t think about it then; I just did them.
If anything, age had taught me to be more sensible in my choices and a lot more realistic.
I just see things differently as I get older, and because of that, I make more sensible choices.
There are so many ridiculous things I did when I was younger without really even thinking about them before I jumped right in. It’s a wonder I’m still alive and walking.
Whether it was skiing down a Black Diamond without really knowing how to ski or pushing myself through a workout even though it was really painful and I knew I was damaging my knee—I won’t do those things anymore.
To me, I see things from a clearer perspective, and that has helped me to be more sensible about the things I’m willing to do.
Age is just a number. It’s our mindset that matters most.
When I turned forty, I thought I was old. But now, I think forty is really young. I don’t look at fifty or sixty and think it’s old anymore, either.
It’s all about how we look at things and our mindset moving forward.
No matter your age, you are still capable of doing the things you love to do and spending time with those you love the most.
That is what life is all about.
And experience tells me that it’s really all that matters, anyway.
We are all so much more than the number the world uses to define us.
Never forget that age is just a number.
There is still so much good you can do by being the Extraordinary, UnOrdinary You!