Many people my age look old, act old, plus think of themselves as being old and uninteresting. Getting older happens to everyone, but I believe getting old can be controlled because it is a state of mind—followed by conscious actions that go with it.
Years ago, I watched people circle the parking lot at the gym, looking for a parking stall near the door. My reaction ever since has been to avoid parking stalls nearest the door and “Save It for Old People.” Staying as physically fit as possible helps me not just feel better, but it helps me feel like doing something that requires energy.
Retirement from my career was the first real test of not getting old. Rather than waste uncommitted, bonus time in my week, I chose to actively pursue new hobbies and adventures. Driving through all 48 lower states in our Eurovan Camper helped develop an appreciation for our country. We made sure we saw Alaska and Hawaii on our travels too.
Another test of avoiding getting old came when Linda developed health and heart issues that kept her from joining me on outings that required much exertion. Driving to eastern Washington for the outdoor activities I enjoy, including foraging for a variety wild food and/or mineral rocks are all hobbies I enjoy immensely. Linda’s solution was to encourage me to find new, younger friends to accompany me on these outings. Fortunately, my variety of hobbies and activities put me in contact with lots of people.
Suggesting specific outings on designated days to a few people, especially my pickleball friends at the YMCA, drew immediate positive response. Trips to eastern Washington to gather morel mushrooms, wild asparagus and petrified wood all on the same outing filled my car with three or four new, usually younger, new companions all seeking adventure. My companions reciprocated by taking me crabbing, clamming, hiking, or invited Linda and me to dinner. New friends with varied experience and backgrounds became a new source of knowledge and energy once I showed interest in what they knew. Their energy helps stimulate and invigorate me.
Roger Urbaniak writes about the Great Outdoors from his home on Mercer Island. “Rogers Outdoor Channel” is the place to learn about the adventures of Northwest Outdoor Enthusiast Roger Urbaniak along with his lovely wife Linda and trusty pooch Sparky. Visit rogersoutdoorchannel.com for more information or email Roger at email@example.com.