“Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth to be young at heart? For as rich as you are it’s much better by far to be young at heart.” –Young at Heart (Frank Sinatra)
I just returned from a short trip to Iceland, and as we were departing, I saw this ‘As we say in Iceland’ sign at the airport which read: ‘A forty year old can do anything.’ I thought, ‘YES! Yes, we can!’ I am currently forty, and when I read that line I felt completely inspired about my future – the possibilities of what I can do and where my coaching career is headed! I was literally thinking “I CAN do anything, so what do I want to do next?! What WILL I do next?!”
The rest of the ad read: ‘Well, at least anything a forty year old can do. Every language seems to have its own version of this phrase. ‘Life begins at forty’ is equally paradoxical. We embrace optimism and energy in all people, regardless of age.’ I love their philosophy on age, and I absolutely love that last sentence! I am a firm believer that your state of mind is what causes you to grow old – not an increase in the number of candles on your cake very year. Each year is a gift – time to make memories – to explore, learn, grow, and love.
“Age is not how old you are, but how many years of fun you’ve had.” ~Matt Maldre~
What if this was true for everyone, everywhere? What if there were no rules on what you can achieve at a certain age? What if the age you are is the perfect age for you right now? I’d bet people would take more chances. I bet they’d experience more, feel more, and enjoy more. I bet they’d be happier and more fulfilled. On that same trip to Iceland, we ran into a couple on the street. The husband was 71 years old and had recently run the Reykjavik half marathon – placing first out of the 6 people in his age category. I think that guy totally rocks! Not because he came in first. Not because he completed the marathon even. But because he keeps doing what he loves and doesn’t use his age as an excuse not to. (And let me tell you – his wife standing there so proudly bragging him up was beyond heartwarming!)
I say we start expanding our thoughts regarding age. People are living longer, but I wonder how many are truly living while they are alive? Life does not end when the kids leave home, or when you turn a certain age, or when you retire. You are not too old to start a new career. You are not too old to learn a new language. You are not too old to travel to your dream destination. You are not too old to start crossing things off your bucket list. You are not too old to fall in love (again). You are not too old to run a marathon. You are not too old to try something new. You are not too old to play hide and seek. You are not too old to do whatever it is your heart desires. You are only too young to put such limits on yourself and your life.
“Live your life and forget your age.” ~Norman Vincent Peale~