Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tapping into a Fountain of Youth!

“There IS a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” --Sophia Loren

My granddaughter Lucy turned 3 ½ years old. She was SO EXCITED to learn that “and a half” had been added to her 3 years and she always remembers to tack on the “and a half” to her age whenever she’s asked.  April 15th is MY half birthday, but for some reason I never think to add the “and a half” to my age when asked how old I am. In fact, when I’m asked my age, I need to make a quick calculation.  By subtracting my birth year from the current year, the difference between the two is my age.  I feel that this is a long, arduous and unnecessary process, so I try not to make my age a major life concern . At this moment, I don’t know how old I am in years and I don’t really care how many years have passed since the day I was born. I do know that I am over 50 because my family had a wonderful birthday party for me on my 50th birthday a few years ago.   Now don't get me wrong - I LOVE my birthday month and I look forward to celebrating for the entire month each and every year.  I just don't mark the year with a number.

I have a very good reason not to keep track of my biological age. Between the ages of birth and 21, there are many milestones ahead of us and we look forward to each one.  Starting school, our first date, getting a driver’s license and eventually being legally recognized as an “adult” are exciting events that just don’t come quickly enough.  When we turn any age “and a half”, we are six months closer to reaching those milestones so we keep close track.   Once I turned 21 my age just didn't seem as important to me as it once did.  It was almost as if counting my years evolved into a way of keeping track of the wear and tear on my bones, muscles, organs, feet, joints, teeth, eyes, etc. I find that I just don’t like anticipating the predicted “age” when my body parts begin to show signs of wearing out - so I adapted an anti-aging policy called "Ignorance is Bliss". 

Instead, I now prefer to keep track of my theoretical age. Some days I feel young, and other days I feel old. I have more young days than old days, so I believe that is a good sign. I feel old when I strain my back picking up an item just out of my reach, when I try to play the Wii with my grandchildren and always end up in last place, and when I can’t see the picture I just took on my digital camera without putting on my glasses. On such occasions, when my theoretical age begins to climb, I have found very effective ways to rejuvenate myself.  Engaging in an early morning run either outside or on the treadmill,  a romantic date with my husband, watching The Andy Griffith Show on TV, lunch with my friends, going to a quilt show, gathering with family, listening to an "Easy Listening" music station and quilting in any shape or form all direct my theoretical age toward “younger". I like that feeling.

Another way to lower my “theoretical age” is to associate with Project Linus volunteers. Their excitement, their attitudes, their diligence, their stamina, their dedication, their perseverance and their friendship makes me realize that biological age can be quite deceiving. Once you’ve attended a Project Linus event or associated with blanketeers, you will realize that the number of years we have spent on earth is immaterial. As we join together as friends to serve others, while doing something we love we have actually tapped into the fountain of youth. It's true - Project Linus is actually the “fountain of youth” in disguise!

Now, don't be selfish.  There's plenty of youth coming from the fountain for everyone.  Just pass it along!  :-)
Happy Blanketmaking!