Part Two – Your Age Is Nobody’s Business

         

 

           If Age Is Only a Number – Why Does Everybody Want to Know Mine?

Getting older is inevitable, but how soon you allow it to make decisions for you is your choice. I know that I am not ready for it, and I live my life without thinking about how old I am. Except when my birthday is coming up-that’s always a reality check! Or when a friend says, “Isn’t it your birthday next week?”

“I don’t have birthdays anymore,” I say, “I stopped those years ago.”

I often get a reaction like, “What a good idea!” Over the years, I have heard other people reply, “I am always thirty-nine” or “I have started to count backward.”

As much as I would like to ignore my date of birth, the world will not. It is written on top of my driver’s license….and it makes me slightly nervous when someone asks, “May I see some identification?” I always hope that he or she does not pay attention to my age, and luckily they usually don’t

When I pick up my blood pressure medication, the pharmacist asks, “What is your date of birth?” I wonder if she couldn’t see it in my file or what knowing my age adds to my co-payment.

I answer in a low voice.

“Can you speak up, please?” she asks again

I repeat it once more an now everybody in the line behind me knows how old I am. Most likely, nobody cares-but I do. You might call me vain, and maybe I am, but hearing myself say my age again and again reminds me of how old I am. It confirms it. This is something I can’t allow, or it will settle in my brain and creep into my bones, killing the spring in my step . Maybe it is a small spring, not like someone who is twenty-five or even forty, but I still walk erect, and don’t drag my feet.

Yes, age is only a number. But, oh, how it influences us if we are not careful. My friend Angela, who is very vibrant, active, and looks years younger than her age, recently had a birthday. When I asked her how she wanted to celebrate, she said, “Oh my god, this is a big one. I really don’t feel like celebrating. Can you imagine? I will be X years old.” (No, I won’t tell on her?

“It happens to all of us.” I replied at the time, but she didn’t hear me.

I noticed that after her birthday, Angela started every sentence with, “Well now, at my age,” or “I don’t know how long I can still do this,” or “You never know, when one gets sick, seeing how old I am now……” She never had those thoughts before, but her last birthday gave her a terrible present —it robbed her of feeling not old.

“Please don’t speak about your age all the time; it is starting to depress me,” I said to her one day.

“But it is true, I am X years old now an who knows what will happen, or if I will see my grandchildren graduate.”

Getting a little impatient with her and not knowing what to say anymore, I quoted my grandmother, who all through my life was a beacon of wisdom for me: “You know if you don’t want to become old, you have to die young!”

But Angela was so caught up in her new image of being old, she did not understand what I was trying to tell her, and continued to list all the things she would have trouble doing from now on.

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P.S. This is an excerpt from my book ‘Living Longer Living Well” (more on my next blog)

And Don’t Forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

 

Your Age Is Nobody’s Business!

 

No, I won’t tell you how old I am. If I do, you will see me with different eyes, and you will judge everything I do or say with that number in mind.

I made the mistake once telling someone my age. I regretted it instantly and still do. Janet, a friend of mine living in Switzerland who is ten years younger than I, was visiting New York, and it was my birthday. We went to a bar to have a few drinks, when suddenly she said, “So tell me, how old are you today?” And I fell into the trap.

Maybe it was the third glass of wine, or maybe it was because I knew I didn’t look much older than she. Anyway, my ego took over, and I told her.

“Can I help you carry that?” she asked the next day when I was holding a small package. Shit, I thought, why did I tell her? Later, when she asked me if I would like to go to Costa Rica with her, she qualified that things are really quite comfortable there and I shouldn’t worry.

Why would I worry? But she did, now that she knew my age.

It is often said that age is “only a number” and the difference lies in what you do with that number. sorry for the cliché, but this loosely translates into “You are only as old as you feel.”

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If you are in doubt that telling people your age influences their behavior towards you – try it out. Many of my readers have come back to me and confirmed this to be true. It’s is not a matter of hiding our age, no we are proud of it, but it is nobody’s business – remember the time when nobody dared to asked such a question??? Today people do, but we still don’t have to tell them.

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This is an excerpt from my book ‘Living Longer Living Well” (more on my next blog)

And Never Forget – A Smile Changes Everything!

Brigitte

 

Do You Remember Turning 4O?

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Stepping onto the balcony of my apartment on this sunny Monday morning I was wondering if Manhattan was still the same as yesterday, because I was not. I had just turned 40. Today is my birthday. Finally it had happened – I was 40 years old; far away from being young and far away from being old.

I remember as a child I heard adults speak about people in their 40’s, and for me it sounded like they were 100, and more importantly it seemed to be 100 years away. But today the 100 years have caught up with me. But I really don’t feel different, even though I have to admit I look a little different than 10 years ago.

Come to think of it age affects us throughout our life, but in very different ways. As children we hope for nothing more than to be older. When we reach 16 we can’t wait to be 20 because it seems that the world is waiting for us and we can’t wait to change the world. And yes, sometimes we do change the world, but the truth is the passing years change us – and suddenly there is that day when we turn 40.

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I have written this reflection many year ago, and now, closer to being old, I have learned that it is not the number of our birthdays which is important, but our attitude to those numbers. Therefore, just remember they are only numbers – numbers which can’t change a positive attitude and the love of life!

And always remember – A Smile Changes Everything!

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ALEXA – Have you met her?

If you haven’t met Alexa don’t feel bad. Until a few days ago I didn’t know her either. I met her while visiting my friend Helen. We were enjoying a glass of fine when Helen suddenly called out,

“Alexa when do we have to leave for the movies?”

Confused I looked around to see who she was talking to, because I was under the impression we were alone, “Who are you talking to?”

“Oh, that’s  Alexa, our Echo Speaker.” Helen answered.

“Echo Speaker?” What is that?”

Helen told me all about it and while she demonstrated it I felt I had been transferred to another planet. But no, I was right here on earth, and  listening and looking in awe at the black cylinder on the table, I found out that by using nothing but your voice Alexa can help with tasks like:echo-fullres-1784-1-630-jpg-alexa

  • shop on-line
  • create a to-do or shopping lists
  • search the web
  • dim or turn on the light
  • get the weather report and so on and so on……..

These are just a few things Alexa can do. There is so much more; too much to tell you about here – besides I doubt that my explanation could do justice to this little miracle. But if you go on Amazon (yes, where else do we buy anything today?) you can find out all about it, and it might just tempt you to have Alexa as a friend too!

What about me? Did she become my friend? No! Yet, I do admit it’s a really cool idea and she could help me do many things, but this is where I have a problem. Being  at an age when it is important to keep active and move, a device that will stop me from doing things myself is not what I need. So I will wait a few years!

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By the way Alexa was named after the ancient library in Alexandria, Egypt –  a tall order to follow indeed., but she seems to manage well.libraryofalexandria

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And never forger – A Smile Changes Everything!

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AGE – WHY ARE NUMBERS SO IMPORTANT?

How often have we been told, read or heard, that age is only a number. Some of us – now in the higher numbers – totally agree that the number is not what is important. But then there are others who can’t get over it, not their own number or others.

This is what happened to me lately which left me speechless. On a sunny Saturday morning Annie, John and I were sitting in one of London’s Parks drinking coffee and waiting for James and Andrea to join us for a visit of the Soane Museum near by. I had not seen them for nearly two  years. It wasn’t long before they arrived. Everybody hugged and kissed, and when it came to me hugging Andrea, she  stepped back, looked at me, and without a Hi or Hello first, said,

“You never told me how old you really are?” It was so taken back that it took a moment before I answered but then I said firmly, “And I never will!”!”

She didn’t pursue the matter further but it left me wondering how important age  –  as a number –  is to her.

My advice is don’t say how old you are – why do you want somebody to know that you are 70 when you look only 60?  No, women don’t look their age today – check it out – look around and see all the good-looking seniors! Here are two of them

And never forget – A Smile Changes Every Thing.

Brigitte

 

A NEW BEGINNING

Today is a very special day – it is the day I can tell you that my book Getting Over Growing Older will be published on Amazon.com on March 10 — and it is the day I am writing my first blog – one of many to come – where we can talk about and find out how not to grow old.

Writing a book is like giving birth. No, not like giving birth to a child, but giving birth to oneself. In this book I have opened my heart and shared experiences of my life, which have taught me that staying positive is the key to happiness and making the challenges of life easier to overcome.

I am leaving you with a short excerpt from the introduction

I never think of my age, and I don’t think I am old. The calendar says otherwise, but what the calendar says has no affect on how I feel or look.

I am often asked why I have so much energy. Do I? I’m often told that I don’t look my age. Don’t I? I am happy to hear these comments, but I always feel that there is nothing unusual about me. Until one day when I was vacationing in France.

I became friends with Angie, an English lady a little younger than I, who said, “You know, you are very inspiring. I admire your enthusiasm for life and your positive attitude. I wish some of it would rub off on me.”

As I thought about her remark and I asked myself why I don’t feel old or look my age, the answers became the inspiration and reason for writing this book.

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And never forget –  a smile changes everything

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