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What are Your Three Ages?

Guest article by Penelope Young

Whether you are 40 or 90 years old, age really is just a number.  What is important is your approach to life?  Get that right and you are on track to welcome maturity with open arms.

 I believe we all experience three ages:

(1) Chronological
(2) Biological
(3) Essence

I can do nothing about my chronological age.  My chronological age is the number of years I have lived on the planet this time round.  It is just a number. 

My biological age is a movable feast.  I can be older or younger than my chronological age depending on how well I look after myself.  Plus I can make a determined effort to repair the damage I’ve caused to myself over the years.  I can be 40 years old biologically in a chronologically 60 year old body or I can be a 70 year old biologically, in a 50 year old body.  If I take responsibility for my health, I can push back time.

Physical ageing is reversible

Physical ageing is reversible in almost every bit of our bodies. Bone density and  muscle strength can be improved through exercise and, thanks to innovative health technology, most bits of me can be replaced.  I’m the lucky recipient of a health technology that is advancing faster than I am ageing.   Think how many people you know who have had hips, knees and heart valves replaced.  These procedures are now common, compared to their rarity a generation ago. 

By far the most important age is my essence age.  How old do I see myself?  It can be any age.  It’s the age that pops into your head as soon as you think about how you feel about yourself inside.   And it’s an age that can move around or go up or down.  Inside my mind, my head, my soul I’m never been older than 32.

I have a friend who is 68.  When I asked him what age he was inside his head, he replied instantly.  “I’m 16 years old.  I’ve always been that age.”   As soon as he said it, I could see how right he was.  He’s a big bear of a man who rushes around with all the exuberance of a teenager and at times collapses with all the angst as well.

If I perceive myself as ‘old’, I am more likely to focus on my chronological age as a problem.  I am likely to reduce my expectations for the future. My main topic of conversation will about aches, illness and the last trip to the doctors, because I believe that to be old is to be ill.

 We are as capable of shutting down our lives as we age, as we are of opening up to possibilities. In other words, if you want to stay young, think young.

“For a long time I felt 15 inside.  More recently, that’s risen to 35. But 60?  Don’t be ridiculous! Where did all that time go?”   Lulu at 60

Penelope Young is a Coach, Writer and Speaker about the benefits of being just that little bit older.  She’s currently writing a book ‘Young at Heart – with wisdom’.
Website: www.magnificentageing.com

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  1. Rosemary Gemmell

    June 9, 2011

    Love your positive blog. Great article – I so agree that age is just a number. I’m in my middle 50s and took part in my first tap dancing show last weekend along with a few other mid-lifers! Brilliant fun. And I love Lulu’s outlook, especially since I’m also Scottish.

    • Penelope Young

      June 9, 2011

      So pleased you liked the article Rosemary. Congratulations on your tap dancing. It’s such fun to do something you’ve never done before and make it work for you. I’ve just completed a Bollywood dance course. It was wonderful exercise and good for co-ordination and balance. You’re in your mid-50s – what is your ‘essence’ age? Keep dancing….

  2. gee backhouse | compass pendants

    June 16, 2011

    I recently met a lady in her 80s who was travelling with several friends – they were having a ball! Whilst none of them was chronologically young, their hearts and minds were clearly tuned in to being biologically youthful. What I noticed most was how much they were enjoying each other’s company and the abundance of smiles. Amitiés, Gee

  3. JoanieP

    December 17, 2012

    I thoroughly agree with everything you say! I’m 57 yrs old and am having the time of my life! I think the older I get the more daring and adventurous I have become – I now tackle things which I would never have had the nerve or the confidence to do when I was younger! The one good thing about your chronological age is that it gives you the time you need to realize your essence age and make the most of it every day!

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