“How old would you be if you didn't know how old you was?”
Good afternoon, friends! So sorry I missed the morning, but sometimes even Sunday evenings and Monday mornings are packed, so now it is and I hope it’s on time for you. Let’s get to it!
I had a milestone birthday yesterday, a big one, a turning point one, one that seemed to make a lot of people happy. Can you guess what number that was? I’m not ashamed; it was 50. Lovely people sang to me, my family experienced a typically excellent birthday celebration, and I certainly felt loved. But one thing I didn’t feel was 50. In fact, I still don’t feel 40. What good is a number compared to reality?
Satchel Paige was an aging marvel. Paige was a Major League pitcher who debuted with the Cleveland Indians in 1948 at the age of 42 (!) and pitched in the majors for 17 years, until he was 59 (!!!). Marvel hardly covers the whole truth; he was incredible. You can imagine the grief and ribbing he took for his age, but Paige played along and effectively battled to the end. What was key to his success? Good health helped, but I think great perspective on aging was even greater help.
Frankly, most people I know are much older than their age. Bad eating habits, poor exercise efforts, family histories, stress and anxieties all age us well beyond our years. How can we counter this unhealthy buffet of badness with better experiences of goodness? Paige sets a great example of competing to the end and getting our minds right.
If you want more life, what part of you needs better attention from your mind? If you want better life, what part of you could use a little more attention, commitment, and/or support? After all, age is just a number, but life is an experience. Take it from an old guy (guess which one), you have a lot of life left in you. Quit obsessing about your age and get on with your living. I plan to; why not you, too?! Now, I’ll get on with the second half of my life…!