Given that today is Wednesday, it could not be a more appropriate day for advice. That's right, dear reader, it is time once again for the infamous Yo Phil column!
Today's query comes from Kat, the lovely blogress now residing quite happily in the grand state of Virginia. She writes:
What is the secret to staying young?
Your question is an intriguing one, and poses many possibilities. Perhaps the most obvious and cynical answer to your question is this: simple, don't grow old.
If you feel this is insensitive and rude, you read right. But you read wrong. Allow me to explain. The word 'old' has a bajillion definitions, though in this case most people think of 'adding on years to age.'
However, who ever said you have to consider yourself old just because you happen to have more experience under your belt in life? Old is relative, and it's all in how you look at things. For instance, there's times I've felt that I'm older than my years, and yet there's other times I feel so young at heart. The reality is that there's benefits to both being old and being young, and each of us has the power to make the most of both.
One of the perks of old age is wisdom, which only comes from experiencing life to its fullest. By the same token, feeling young allows us to be intrepid and take challenges. But really, it's all in your head. Perhaps you might find yourself at times feeling carefree, feeling that life is good and fun, and you're just plain happy. This can make you feel young at heart.
One thing I can assure you is this: looking back on your years will only ever make you feel 'old' in the counting years sense. If, however, you take each new day as a gift, and make the most of every single moment in that day, you'll discover that age is not an issue at all. Consider any pets you have. Notice that they live, day in and day out, literally for the moment. They rarely look back, and only look forward enough to stay alive. Do you know of any animal that counts its age and considers time as an important part of life? The answer is no. Only we humans seem to find a concept of time important, and rather than live our lives, sometimes we watch the clock tick steadily by instead.
If you feel bound by time, I would recommend that you go a whole day without ever looking at a watch or clock. Do everything you normally do, only pay no mind to time that seems to be passing. You'll find that you don't worry about the pressure of trying to fit everything in, but rather just do what you can while you can do it, and then you move on.
It is in this sense that you will realize that staying young is no concept, but that really you just need to live. You did it while you were 'young,' and you do it now.
Also, remember the stories of men of old (the past, that is), who searched far and wide for a fountain of youth, only to discover that there was no such thing. Some spent perhaps their entire lives searching, losing sight of the life they could have actually been living.
So with each new day, take a deep breath and enjoy the day for what it's worth. And trust me, each day you'll feel brilliantly alive, and also quite young.
*If you wish to ask Yo Phil a question, simply leave a comment or send him a message (be sure to write "Yo Phil" in the message). Yo Phil is a registered trademark of Phil's Blog, "All Things Phil," 2005-2006.