Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Columns

January 5, 2011

Age is a state of mind

Jan. 5, 2011 — Do you remember, as a child, your parents or other adults remarking how fast time had gone by? There would be comments such as, “Where has the time gone?” Hearing this, you probably thought they were crazy. When you were young, time crawled. The school year was interminable. Time was measured in minutes and hours.

The years passed as you made your way through school. Time seemed to flow at a consistent speed. In your teens and twenties, time seemed infinite. There was no rush because you had all the time in the world. As you moved through your thirties and into your forties, the concept of a finite life span became more of a reality.

As you grew older, you began measuring time in days and weeks. Each year started to go by faster than the previous one. At some point, you started tracking time in months and seasons. Before you knew it, you were older than most other people. It used to be everyone was older than you. Now you are being addressed as Mr., Ms., or Mrs., but it seemed like yesterday when you were referring to everyone that way.

What exactly is age? Why do some young people drag themselves around as if they were on their last legs, while certain older people bound around with the spunk of a child? It is because each person influences their own functional age.

Your biological age is determined by how long you’ve been travelling around the sun. Your functional age is a measure of how old you feel. There’s no correlation between functional and biological age; each is independent of the other.

Functional age is comprised of several factors. Your outlook on life is the single most significant one. How you view the world shapes your impression of it. Is each day a battle, problem ridden, and filled with nothing but hassles?

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