Before tying the knot, my wife and I attended a marriage prep course led by my childhood pastor. It was worthwhile, and I’ll never forget a critical point he made… “No matter what, I guarantee the eye candy will wear off.”
Decades ago, we hid our age simply by not telling people how old we were. Even though everyone could guess quite accurately, the assumption was if you don’t tell, they won’t know.
Today, there is a massive movement against ageing… It’s growing into what will eventually be a trillion-dollar industry. And people are trying to ‘stay young‘ (or at least appear younger than they are) to a point where it’s hard to discern if it’s genuinely a health pursuit or one of vanity.
The crazy thing is, as we age and have kids (my 40th birthday is just a couple weeks away, hence my reflection on time and ageing), time flies at an unprecedented speed. No matter how hard we resist, the clock seems to tick faster as we age.
Yet, our anti-ageing fight has been going on forever… a futile battle.
It’s one reason we were taught as kids to NEVER ask a woman her age. It was a tacit acknowledgement that they did not wish to be reminded of their losing battle against the relentless march of time.
We grew up putting far too much emphasis on appearance… and it’s gotten more extreme in recent years.
Now, society seems to hold little to no value in ageing…
Men who should be embracing the wisdom and experience that come with age instead resort to chemicals and supplements, desperately clinging to their long-gone athletic glory days. It’s why many women inject stuff into their lips and have surgeries on their butts and breasts. It’s why there is a new diet fad every 6 months. Cold plunge this, sauna that. And it’s why more people than ever are obsessed with their overall physique rather than their performance. They’re slaves to their six packs…
Avoiding having a beer at a barbecue because it has too many calories? You’re a slave to your appearance.
Chasing the elusive fountain of youth, many go to extreme lengths to hide their age and declining athleticism while attempting to enhance their attractiveness… but this won’t help them live longer.
Amidst the fitness and body ‘enhancing’ frenzy of the 2020s, time remains relentless. The desire to maximize life while appearing younger has inadvertently led people astray, causing them to overlook the essence of longevity and fulfilment.
In the pursuit of staying young and ‘maximizing life’ by hopefully extending it, it is crucial to recognize that our actions are not solely driven by the present but also by our aspirations for the future. Paradoxically, this forward-looking mindset often causes time to slip away swiftly. It leads to a life of diminishing returns, where the focus on longevity and aesthetics overrides the enjoyment of the present moment.
Ironically, the more joy you have in the present, the higher your likelihood of living longer. Happy people live longer than those who aren’t.
To truly embrace a life of longevity and fulfilment, we must reconnect with the present. Instead of confining ourselves to the monotonous routine of spending hours in a gym (to look and feel better in the future), we should seek opportunities to physically engage with the world around us.
Whether embarking on a scenic hike, participating in a basketball game with friends, kayaking, cycling, doing MMA, or joining a local men’s league, these activities help burn calories, maintain physical fitness, and enrich our immediate life experiences. In short, they represent play—activities that keep us young and make us smile.
I’m not saying we should shun the gym… not at all. However, by prioritizing the “right now” part of our lives, we not only enhance our overall well-being but also prolong and enrich our existence.
Rather than fixating on the distant future, we can find joy and fulfilment in the present, appreciating the beauty of each moment. Through this balanced approach, we can maximize our lives, staying young in both body and spirit while savouring the fullness of every precious day.
We all age, and looks and health inevitably decline. No one has ever beaten Father Time, but we can welcome him gracefully.