How Old Would You Be If You Didn’t Know How Old You Were? – by Michelle Johnson


On the eve of my birthday this year I reflect on yet another year of life. Surprisingly I realize that tomorrow I will be right smack in the middle of my 40’s…I’ll no longer be in my ‘early forties’ and not yet considered ‘late forties’. So what the heck does that mean to me anyway? Since the time I turned 25, I can’t remember how old I am from year to year! I still feel like I’m in my early 20’s, so why does it matter what number I associate with my age? As cheesy as it sounds, in my heart I will be forever young!

To quote Yoko Ono, “Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90…time is a concept that humans created.”  We all know people in our lives that this statement rings true for. It’s interesting to me to see how differently people deal with aging. I feel that women in our society have an exceptionally hard time dealing with this natural occurrence of life. I am no exception to this, I have my freak out moments when I think ‘I’m nearly half a century old!’, but it seems to be more a feeling of awe than a worry about my fading youth and health. Don’t get me wrong, I do choose to age gracefully; therefore I eat well, sleep my 7-8 hours, and take good care of my skin. However, I believe that since I feel half my age, I tend to be more amazed at how old I am in years! Age is a mindset, and we can choose to be old or young, it’s really what you think, speak and feel that will determine ‘your age’ and not necessarily the amount of years you’ve lived.

We’ve all heard someone say “I’m getting too old for this!”, or “Your not a spring chicken anymore you know!” I believe that by shifting these limiting beliefs as a society we would benefit everyone. Sometimes we sort of inherit our mindset from our parents, and other times it is developed over the years. Our culture has been determining our ‘timeline’ for decades! Get married by 30, have kids by 34, retire at 55, etc….not only is this limited thinking, it only promotes anxiety! Let’s live in the moment, embrace our uniqueness and celebrate the milestones of our choice if and when they come along.

Growing up my parents didn’t make a big deal about aging and my dad climbed Mt. Whitney at 70! I suppose I adopted their perception to a point, I just never really thought of age, just sort of forgot about it! (Unless of course it was a good excuse to have a great big party to celebrate my number!) Granted, everyone has the choice to disregard age as a number and instead celebrate their life or to label and/or limit themselves with it in all aspects of their lives. I for one choose to ignore the number and embrace the wisdom I gain with each year on this earth, live out loud and on purpose, earning each gray hair and wrinkle along the way. If I so choose to cover the gray and spackle the wrinkles…it’s only because the image in the mirror doesn’t quite match what’s in my heart!

I am so happy and grateful to be alive and healthy after 45 years on this planet, and look forward to many more serving others doing what I love! We all have a purpose in our lives and I encourage you all to discover this purpose and pursue all that you wish no matter what your ‘age’!

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” —Mark Twain

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment about how you deal with (or not) getting a year older. Whether in your 20’s or 90’s what’s your take? What limiting beliefs have you held about aging? What are you teaching or going to teach your kids about ‘getting old’?