Maybe age isn't uniform
Maybe we should be thinking about breaking it down.
It occurred to me that our physical years on this earth - our age - is a very small piece of our overall age vis-à-vis our lives and the universe.
Hear me out. I know it’s a bit woo woo.
The physical years we have spent on this earth is only an aspect of our entire being. Our bodies all age at different speeds. Even if we count the years in the same way, the truth is that different people’s bodies ages at different speeds depending on health and diet and exercise etc.
There is also our mental age. And the various facets of our mental age. For example, some days I feel mentally so old because I am tired of trying to teach people how to use MS Word at my day job. I feel crotchety and annoyed that I have to explain for the umpteenth time that they must download the Word document to edit it. (Please don’t get into an argument in your head with me about the online version of Word, this isn’t the point.)
Other times, my mind feels fresh and young. This happens when I am thinking about what to write or how to plan our next adventure. I think the excitement of working on something I am passionate about makes me feel sharp. I feel mentally young because there is a lot of struggle with my writing. I am still a baby writer and even after a decade of trying to do this, I feel still so green and that there’s still so much to learn.
Finally, there is our emotional age. I have many loved ones whose emotional ages are nowhere close to their physical age. Some are wise beyond their years and some still operate like teenagers even if their bodies are decades ahead. The art of managing our relationships with ourselves, our loved ones and our community takes a lot of deliberate work and cultivation. I’d like to think of myself as someone with emotional maturity but who can even say. This is another thing that’s a lifetime of work.
Where am I going with this? Not really anywhere. It was just a thought that floated across my mind and so I decided to write about it. Perhaps it was brought on by the fact that I just had my birthday and so my earth-years has ticked up again by one. I can’t say the same about my mental age or my emotional age. Those definitely have been aging/not-aging at different speeds. Maybe breaking age down into different pieces is my brain’s way of trying to protect me from the realization that I am solidly heading into middle-age. Good god.