When is someone old? There’s an idea out there that, for humans, “old” is fifteen years older than you are. For horses, it’s five years older. I’m fifteen, so “old” to me is twenty. To a fifteen year old human, 30 would seem old.
A long time ago people used to die of “old age” in their 40’s. Back then, old people were honored as wise and knowledgeable. They were valued and revered. But mass media, especially movies and television, has overwhelmed and changed human culture. Youth has become the ideal. Unfortunately, youth is not something you can work toward, it’s something that you lose. And EVERYONE loses their youth, no matter how hard they try to hide it.
It’s easy to say that youth is a state of mind, but that’s tough to believe when your knees ache and your bones creak. And yes, some people age so beautifully and well, that age seems to only improve them like fine wine. But over all, people resent aging. And there is nothing quite as tragic and hopeless as regret for a youth gone by.
I believe it’s the level of enthusiasm alive in your heart that decides if age is going to be a good thing or a bad thing. Growing gray in spirit is much more tragic than finding gray in your hair. Having something to live for, to achieve, to strive for, keeps us youthful and engaged. That’s why horsemanship is so appealing to the mature set. There are always things to learn, skills to improve, and goals to meet. There is no end. You’re never done.
Do you consider yourself beautiful? I hope you work on your insides as much as on your outsides. Read, learn, and find a grander purpose outside of your own self interests. Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their true beauty. They merely move it from their faces into their hearts. And that’s what determines a life well lived.