This year, I just turned 30 and look forward to aging gracefully. I wrote about this before. The slight apprehension of acquiring sunspots, larger pores, my first white hair and heaven forbid a wrinkle or two.
The real solution isn’t about buying a $50 eye cream. I’ve been interested in the topic of health and longevity for awhile now and seem to have noticed a pattern. People who have a strong vitality in midlife and beyond never stop learning. They try new things. They see being an “adult” as a role they play but don’t get mired in identification and know how to have fun. They don’t take things too seriously. They have a sense of humor. They laugh.
Being a multipotentialite, indeed, can be good for you. It may even be great for anti-aging.
A friend of mine is in her mid 30s and learned how to surf for the first time and started up dirt biking (I myself learned how to surf to start off the new year). As a pilates instructor, she loves being active and knows the importance of movement.
“Good for you for trying new things at your age.”
“I guess it’s never too late to learn new tricks.”
These are the sorts of things she hears a LOT.
When did the 30s start to implicate being old? Is there a silent rule that you shouldn’t learn new things after a certain age?
Get Rid of The Phrase “At Your Age”
There’s no reason to tag “at your age” at the end of a sentence. Because of the silent implications of being old, it might even seem a bit rude. It’s not that “you look good at your age”, it should be looking good at any age. Think of yourself as ageless, and live only in the present moment.
Refuse to believe that you are old, because you are only as old (or young) as you feel. Age is only a state of mind. Even physicists might argue that time is only an illusion.
Learn a New Language
I’ve been living abroad and as a Filipino-American, I’ve barely grasped my native tongue. I’m slowly learning Tagalog, one of the many dialects of the Philippines. Learning a new language can increase creativity, especially when paired with living abroad.
Learn a New Instrument
Learning to play music is practically like learning a new language. How to read notes, and how to play the particular instrument go side by side. Learning how to play by ear or how to improv are entirely new sets of skills all layered around music. Each new layer complements the rest and delves deeper into it. I met a 100 year old violinist once who could still play fast notes and remembered how to play songs through body memory. Playing an instrument increases dexterity so you can stay young at any age.
Get Rid of Complacency
One of my favorite inspirational quotes is:
Life starts at the end of your comfort zone.
When life starts to feel a little comfortable, shake it up. Try new things. Go somewhere you haven’t been to before. Go to the beach. Pick up a new, or old hobby. Make a one month challenge or goal and do it. Learn a new topic. Join a group. Embrace change.
Multipotentialites have a natural inclination towards change and learning new things. It helps keep our brains active, agile, and young.
Meet Phyllis Sues
Phyllis recently wrote a Huffington Post article that went viral about her amazing outlook at Loving Life at Age 90. She’s a tango dancer, a tennis player, a pianist who sings and composes her own music, a trapeze artist, and now, a yogi.
When she was 14, she took her first ballet class and soon danced her way into Broadway.
When she was 72, she took her first piano lesson and now composes her own music albums.
When she was 85, she took her first yoga class and was soon able to progress towards advanced poses that practitioners in their 20s struggle to do.
Movement is a Big Part of Staying Young
The next time someone tells you that it’s good you’re trying new things at your age in your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond, think of Phyllis, who shows you that anything is possible with perseverance and that it’s REALLY never too late to learn new tricks!
What do you do to stay young? Do you think being a multipotentialite puts you at an advantage to aging gracefully?