Posted in Essays

On Aging and Time

On Aging and Time Posted on December 3, 2021

How old you are is not how old you are.  Such a cliché.  But clichés are clichés because they’re right…right?

Boy, you look 20 years younger.  You don’t look a day over 35.  Act your age.  He’s got the energy of a 25-year-old.  Age is a matter of the mind, if you don’t mind, it don’t matter.  He’s older than his years.  And on and on…

So how old are you?  And how do you measure it?  Time, it seems, doesn’t do much but pass. But who the heck knows what time is other than a convenient way to measure the ebb and flow of passing…erm…time; a construct we humans came up with to pinpoint moments in a day or tag a particular event with context in the passing of our lives. 

It’s a convenient way to measure passing through the air, walking down the street, driving to work, being late to work.  But it’s comforting because it gives us a frame of reference by which we can measure ourselves against other things, other people, and events we experience or hear about.

So, how old are you?  Really.  Is your mind young?  Is your mind young but your body old?  You can’t keep the body from aging, but you can, most of the time, keep your mind from doing it.  Is your mind old and your body young? (“man, I feel so old.”)  Change that as soon as you can.

We try to keep time/aging at bay but that’s a fool’s errand.   Some mask it with fancy nanotech makeup or substance or snake oil that pretends to do it, but you can always tell.   And the ones who go too far, well, they don’t look normal anymore. 

Those who care less about how they look and care more about how their place in the world matters or at the very least are aware of what that means can shave time from the actual time you’ve spent on the earth.  But in the end, when time runs out and all you can do is look back and determine if it was a life well-lived, hopefully, it is.

Photo by Rod Long