I was watching a documentary yesterday and in it was a great anecdote that totally captures the essence of longevity. Two women are traveling around Europe, one is older than the other by many years. They arrive at the train station with their enormous luggage waiting for a valet to help them move it from the curb to the train. After failing to flag down anyone to help they both decide they just have to do it themselves. They start lugging their respective luggage through the station, up and down stairs, all the way to the train. They finally arrive at the train, with plenty of time to spare thankfully, and sit down to catch their breath. The older woman turns to the younger and says, “I can’t believe that no one was around to help us with the luggage. What do they expect old people to do?”
The “older woman” that was baffled by how “old people” would manage that happened to be 80 years old. You are as old as you feel, but part of that is you will feel as old as you let yourself. If you assume that becoming decrepit and feeble is something that’s just going to happen as you get into your 50s, 60s, or 70s then that is exactly what will happen. It’s the same mindset that makes people who say “I’ll never succeed in anything” to not succeed in anything. We can’t pretend that we can transcend aging, but that doesn’t mean we should accept it and expedite it’s onset. It definitely doesn’t mean we have to mentally “give up” and “be old” just because of some chronological passing.
As a bonus note, the 80 year old women in question was Julia Child.