When did I get old? The simple answer is I do not know! I look in the mirror and there is this old person looking back at me. What happened? It was just yesterday, I was sixteen itching to be eighteen, then twenty-one and thirty. Funny, I do not feel old, after all 60 is the new 40! When you are young, you are dying to grow up. When you hit 40, you start to realize your life is moving pretty fast.
Before you know it, you are turning fifty and you get a letter inviting you to join AARP! You know you are old when you receive that letter. What is prompting all this talk about getting old? Recently, I noticed a lot of information that talks about average life expectancy in the United States. The average life expectancy for a male is 75.6 and female is 80.5. As you get old(er), you seem to care about these things more.
When I look at the average life expectancy, I realize I don’t have much time left. Then I remind myself that these are averages and genetics have a lot to do with life expectancy. Since I do all the right things such as exercise, eat right, control my weight, do not smoke, stay healthy and stay socially connected, I look forward to a long active life. Now that I am reassured, why am I old? Society says I am and let’s face it I am no longer young.
Why should you care that I am getting old? As I get older, so do you! Surprise, in case you did not know that! Why is this important? I know everyone is getting older and all the creams, plastic surgery and miracle cures cannot stop it. If I am running out of time so are you. What are you doing about it? I know what I am doing; I am planning the next thirty years out and accomplishing something in my life.
If you are not setting goals, planning your life and working on those plans, you may be looking in the mirror some day and asking the same question! When did I get old? I can look back in the mirror and truthfully say I did everything I wanted to do! Can you? I have no regrets, do you? I look back and I can say I have a good life filled with great experiences, a wonderful family, successful children, a great marriage and accomplished some worthwhile goals.
This is not intended to just motivate you to do something because I wrote an article called “If Not Now, Then When” which addressed procrastination and excuses. I am trying to point out how finite our lives are. What do you want to be remembered for after you are gone? Are you living with a set of values you can be proud of? Are you saving enough for your retirement? Are you enjoying life along the way?
The vast majority of you are younger than me. My cousin who is eighty-three (83) pointed that out to me. It is always old(er) people who say life goes by quickly, but what are you doing about it. When you are young, you are in a hurry so you are happy that it moved fast. What do you do? Take a look at your age and determine how you are doing compared to other people your age.
Don’t bother comparing yourself to Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg or Barack Obama. Are you pursuing the career you want? Are you achieving your goals? If you are in debt, are you making progress? Take your temperature! It is a term I like to use that refers to your position at a point in time. You can use a formula I found on Personal Financial Advice which is your age x .112 x total income = Expected Net Worth. Record your net worth today and use it to measure your progress. How are you doing with your 2011 goals? I work every day to accomplish my goals, are you? Are you getting old(er)? When did I get old?
Photo by: Daniel Zanini H