What’s In An Age?

August 24, 2010 § 3 Comments

Birthday Cake Cupcake

Image by clevercupcakes via Flickr

So, I turn 50 on Saturday. Yes, a half-century old. The Big Five-Oh.

While this blog focuses on motivation and inspiration, you won’t find me using phrases like, “you are only as old as you feel” or “age is only a number.”

In fact, I’ve never had any strong feelings about reaching any significant age. This year is no different.

However, a colleague gave me pause for thought the other day. She remarked, “We are getting older, David.”

There is no doubt we are. But any reflection I do on the subject revolves around realizing that I continue to grow as a person and as a professional. I learn about myself and the world around me every day.

I aspire to the phrase that when you stop learning, you stop living.

Certainly the signs of advancing age are there – less hair and what I have left has streaks of what I refer to as “Arctic blond” otherwise known as grey.

I can’t do some of the physical things I used to do as well or with as much stamina – the onset of Type 2 diabetes has had a noticeable effect on my eyesight and is likely responsible for the degenerative discs in my neck.

And because I take medicine for diabetes, I don’t drink alcohol. So, if I want to party hardy, I won’t do it by consuming booze.

However, I am content that virtually all the things I have ever really liked to do, I can still enjoy wholeheartedly.

I remain an avid sports fan. I still like to crank up the tunes – and I have yet to reach the stage where I need to. Live theatre is a great interest and being in the great outdoors is an enjoyable daily occurrence with my wife and Jasper, our dog. I still relish hiking and tent camping.

I continue to maintain the motto: Never grow up. Just age gracefully.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned is the importance of fostering great friendships.
I’ll be marking The Big Day with Joyce by visiting some of them – the family I celebrated with while boarding at their home 30 years ago when I was attending college in Richmond, B.C.

Friendships can also occur with anyone of any age and background. It’s really a matter of connecting with people who are meaningful and enhance your life. It’s not just who you connect with but how.

For example, my blog mate, Wendy, has become a close friend since we met at a conference in May 2009. Soon after, we realized we had much in common and decided to create this blog to develop content for inspirational and motivational book(s) and collaborate on other projects.

Wendy is 28 and I am old enough to be her parent yet we can readily finish each other’s sentences and routinely one of us says something that sparks ideas for the other. We often enjoy long conversations via Skype between Grande Prairie and Calgary.

She has remarked that I am her 20 years from now.

It would be a great loss if either one of us had put up barriers to this connection.

I’ve been inspired by other younger people lately.

The City of Grande Prairie’s Economic Development Officer, Brian Glavin, just turned 25. He has the wisdom and poise of someone much older. This makes him a joy to work with and talk to on any subject.

Brian is bound to be a leader in our organization for many years to come and will have a great impact on his community or in any venture he takes on.

Then there’s Mary Leong who I had the occasion to speak with a few times this summer through her internship in Grande Prairie helping youth seek employment.

Mary, who grew up in Singapore and has been in Canada just five years, will go as far as her ambition takes her. I was immediately taken by her enthusiasm and wide array of interests.

She’s studying political science and psychology at the University of British Columbia. Her future will see her doing either research on how technology shapes cognition and its subsequent effects on political behaviour or something in foreign relations. Perhaps she will be an ambassador or a diplomat. Who knows, maybe she will be Prime Minister.

Mary has already accomplished much in her short life. I look forward to keeping tabs of what are sure to be many success stories authored by her in the future.

At the other end of the spectrum is my mother-in-law, Mary Black, who turned 87 in April. Visits with her bless you with her peacefulness and sense of simplicity. Plus, there is probably not a kinder, gentler, classier person in the world.

So, what is in an age? It’s up to you!

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