Friday, March 17, 2017

How am I doing?

We used to have a children's book, maybe the one called "Where Did I Come From?" or the one called "It's So Amazing!".  It showed a lineup of males from young boy through old man.  I was impressed at how accurately the artist captured the features we use to distinguish a man's age.  I often tell myself that I am primed by nature and seconded by the media to know that a trim, muscular body is the best one, the optimal one.  Nature and the media tell me that even when that picture is wrong.

We don't expect babies to be born looking like Mr. Universe with muscles all standing out.  We might think we want old men to look the same way.  The photographic essay "Old Age is Not for Sissies" shows some very impressive men in their 80's who do look like Mr. Universe types.  

I might be able to exercise more, eat more protein and lift heavier weights.  I might be able to look several decades younger than I am but why should I?  I am very confident that I won't look very good at age 145.  I will almost certainly be very deteriorated and probably yucky.  I am already rather wrinkled and wasted.

A certain amount of maintenance and self-care makes sense.  A little respect for myself, my body and social customs can assist me in keeping what I have in pretty good shape.  But trying too hard to look like I am in my 20's seems mistaken.  When you do meet someone in their 60's or older who looks 30, you immediately think of vanity, surgery and fear.  I guess I can do a little cost/benefit thinking.  If walking and some weight lifting feels good, doesn't hog up too many of my hours or dollars, that expenditure could be worthwhile.  

I have observed what many older people before me probably found, too.  If I pay attention to someone else, what I know of that person and what they are doing with their lives, I can often have more fun joking or lifting their spirit.  It is more uplifting than getting the same old wolf whistles from others.

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