Time to Tell the Truth!
How Old are You Really?
After I had related to him an anecdote related to an incident which occurred decades ago, a friend of mine in Richmond Hill then asked:” How old are you?” When I confided in him my age, he replied diplomatically:” You look so much younger!”
Has this type of experience ever happened for you?
One of the greatest of post-war, Polish writers responded to this question as follows!
“Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.” – Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
Our chronological age tells us when you can legally vote, drive, drink, and access seniors discounts. Beyond that, as implied by Lec’s ’work of art’ for the definition of ’age’, this chronological age number may not be particularly meaningful nor helpful. Our lifestyle, our outlook on life and the future, our environment, our personal and general feelings and perceptions of aging, our physical and brain health, as well as the rate of physically aging itself, all combine collectively to reveal a picture of our ’age’ that is more compelling and complex. (1)
However, let’s try to simplify our answer when asked the question:” How old are you really?” We can distinguish three types of ‘ages.’
As earlier implied, Chronological Age, looks backward and is based on the number of years we have been alive on this earth.
Subjective Age is more grounded in the present and based on the age with which we personally identify; that is, the age that we feel we are right now.
Biological Age, combining the past and the present, describes the rate at which your tissues, organs and blood have aged and are now aging.
Might I now add a fourth ‘age?’ Looking ahead, what is your Predicted Age?
This is the topic of my upcoming article, but to introduce it right now, may I inject here a well-known two-liner:
“The good news is we are living longer…The bad news is we are living longer.”
How Old Are You Really? Maturity Matters: Age Friendly Business, Edition 3, Volume 20, 2020, page 1.