#1: Everybody gets old
That’s it! That’s the first secret! Everybody gets old. I know, it doesn’t seem like much of a secret. Everybody knows that everybody gets old. Right? When you get done reading this post, you will be older than you were when you started. In fact, you are already older than when you started. Boom. Mind blown!
Ok, I know that was a bit much. But we tend to live our lives like we aren’t getting older. Or like we won’t get old.
We can talk about how society makes us deny our age, but there is also some part of us that has a hard time understanding and imagining our aging.
Do you feel older? Can you really visualize and understand what it will be like to be 20 years older than you are today? How will your body feel? Where will you live? What friends will you have? What will you be doing every day?
The truth is, it’s difficult to imagine our aging even if we want to. Or our parents aging. I don’t know about you, but there was a day growing up when I suddenly realized that my mother got older every year. I mean, I knew she had a birthday and everything, but she just always seemed the same to my eyes.
And then, before I knew what happened, she was retirement age. WHAT?
How did we get here?
Has anyone ever taught you about the aging process? No?
Actually, that probably isn’t true. We’re taught a lot about the aging process for the first few decades of life.
Remember that class where you learned about the birds and the bees? That’s aging.
Remember how you watched your baby grow and change into a toddler? Aging.
Remember asking your parents why your baby teeth fell out and you got grown-up teeth? Yep, aging.
We love talking about aging to a certain point. There’s some not-quite-defined-line where aging goes from being a positive (another birthday, YAY!!!) to a negative (ANOTHER BIRTHDAY, crap!)
We love the aging that happens in the first few decades of life. We study it, write books, articles, millions of blog posts about it. There is an overwhelming sea of advice about parenting out there. But advice about our parents aging? Not so much.
We’ve just started studying it in the last few decades. Gerontology programs (the study of aging) have difficulty attracting students, and doctors aren’t taught about it except as a corpse to dissect. And they don’t focus on how people experience later life- or how aging impacts everyone around us.
Today we live longer and BETTER than at any other time in human history. But, most of us aren’t prepared for the last decades of our lives.
For our great-grandparents, death was common. Age didn’t much matter. Babies and 50-year-olds cruised along nicely together through life. And then suddenly: POOF! Death comes a-knocking, wearing its coat of untreatable disease or random, freak accident.
Modern medicine and improvements in sanitation CHANGED EVERYTHING! Seriously, 20% of our population will be a Perennial in 12 years.
This shifting population means planning ahead for your future, and the future of those you love, is important life work. Welcome to the journey. Stay tuned as we start sharing more secrets for making it the best time it can be…
Got a story about “The First Secret” your want to share? Post it below or on the Rocking Chair Secrets Facebook page.