We are young

We are young - image for article by Greg Alder

Don’t talk to me about growing old.

Don’t talk to me about aches you never used to have.

Don’t talk to me about noises your body now makes when you move.

Don’t talk to me about the pills you’re on for your blood pressure.

Don’t talk to me about your medical procedures, your MRIs and colonoscopies.

Don’t talk to me about the good old days.

Don’t talk to me about the missed opportunities of your youth.

Don’t talk to me about the kisses not kissed, the loves not loved.

Don’t talk to me about the countries you wish you had visited.

Don’t talk to me about the languages you wish you had learnt.

Don’t talk to me about the instrument you wished you had learnt to play.

Don’t talk to me about the sports you never tried.

Don’t talk to me about the career you wish you had pursued.

Don’t talk to me about the job offer you wish you had accepted.

Don’t talk to me about the shares you wish you had bought.

Don’t talk to me about the big idea you never developed.

Don’t talk to me about ageism.

Don’t talk to me about how it’s unfair that others think you’re too old.

Don’t talk to me about how YOU think you’re too old.

Don’t talk to me.

Just don’t.

Age? I know ancient 18 year olds and zestful 90 year olds.

If your body aches, exercise. If you need a medical procedure, make it an exception. Do it, but don’t talk about it.

Missed opportunities? There are still kisses to be kissed at any age. Those unvisited countries are still there. Those languages and instruments and sports haven’t gone anywhere.

If one career opportunity has long gone, dozens have emerged to replace it.

Want to study philosophy at 80? Tertiary institutions will welcome you.

Want to build a startup at 60? Research shows that your maturity improves your startup’s chance of success.

At school, a teacher chastised one of my classmates: “For god’s sake, Drevikovsky, act your age.”

Drevikovsky’s response was perfect: “Why, sir?”

Too many of us have fallen into the trap of believing that we are old. We have succumbed to society’s ideas of how someone our age should think and dress and behave.

We need to repeat three words until we believe them:

We are young.

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