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How Old Are You REALLY?

How Old Are You REALLY?

I am celebrating a birthday this month. Often, when people know that, the braver souls venture forth and ask me “how old will you be?” Before answering that question, though, I should really consider ‘which’ age I should share. We have different ages. We have our chronological age, based on the number of years we have been alive on this earth. We have our subjective age, based on the age we personally identify with – the age that we feel we are. We have our biological age, which quantifies the rate at which your tissues, organs, and blood are aging. Everyone is familiar with our chronological age, so let’s review our subjective and biological ages. Subjective Age Satchel Paige asked a provocative question: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” That is your subjective age, and it is getting a lot of attention from researchers. According to a 10 year prospective study (conducted by Yannick Stephan, Joban Caudroit, Alban Jaconelli, Antonio Terracciano,) a younger subjective age at the baseline stage of the study was associated with better episodic memory and executive function scores at follow-up stages of testing. Consistent with other studies, their participants reported feeling about 19% younger than their chronological age. A younger subjective age (SA) was…”more typical of older adults, those with higher education, lower disease burden, higher physical activity level, and lower Body Mass Index (BMI) at baseline. “ As we can see, participation in healthier lifestyles is associated with younger SA scores. Improved episodic memory may be the result of a lower likelihood of being overweight or obese,...
Who Will You Bring Into Your Next Life Phase?

Who Will You Bring Into Your Next Life Phase?

There’s a wonderful parable about a couple looking to move to another community. They are walking down a country road and come upon a wise sage sitting at the gates of a village. The couple tells the sage they are looking to move and wonder if this might be a friendly village. The sage asks them about their previous village; they confide that it wasn’t a very friendly place to live. He tells them they will likely find this village isn’t very friendly either. A different couple arrives at the gates of the same village; they ask the wise sage the same question. The sage questions them about their experience in their previous village. This couple exclaims joyfully that their village was loving and friendly. The sage suggests they will likely find this village just as loving and friendly. As Confucius said, No matter where you go, there you are.   It’s the same with any life transition. We bring who we are to every life phase. The who is typically quite established and crystallized by the time we approach our later years. It is how we express the who that will likely need to change and evolve through progressive life transitions. The how may require some pretty flexible problem-solving. It has been suggested that the quality of our life is determined by the quality of the questions we ask. For instance, instead of asking ourselves what we want to do when we retire, a more productive question might be to ask how the expression of what we love to do is likely to evolve over the next 30...