Stay Forever Young – Between The Ears, Anyway

I’m always learning. My grandmother taught me that it would keep my mind young.

She was right.

My daughter and I were sitting on the couch last night, watching the final (or not so final) episode of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Classic. (Oh, how we love Maggie Smith! She has the best lines, the best delivery. So much fun to watch.) We were talking about the age of women of that time period for marriage and childbirth.

My daughter turned to me and said, “I can’t believe you’re going to be 50 in a few years. You certainly don’t look that old!” (I suppose that was a compliment.)

“I know,” I said, “I don’t feel almost 50. I feel almost 30. In my mind, I feel very young.”

She looked at me oddly.

“You know what I mean?” I asked.

“No, mom,” she said with a grin, “I’m only 18. I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

I suppose it’s a bit of a You-Had-To-Be-There-Moment but we were sent into a fit of giggles. Of course she has no idea about her mind feeling young. She’s still young.

My grandmother loved politics, crossword puzzles and bridge. I love current events, jigsaw puzzles and playing Euchre and Rummy. She and I were/are both voracious readers. She loved fashion and studying pop culture. I love new music and discovering new artists.

Anything to keep your mind young; but like the Nike ad said –  just do it. Exercise that muscle between your ears. Pick up a new language. Take a cooking class. Yank out your old Algebra books (I just did that the other day and had a blast challenging myself to complete some problems.)

Our bodies, our eyes, our once nimble fingers. They will show their age no matter how much exercise or botox we try.

But our mind?

That has the true potential of staying forever young.

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20 Comments

Filed under Coffee Talk, Growing Up, How We Roll, Lessons Learned

20 responses to “Stay Forever Young – Between The Ears, Anyway

  1. My neighbour (who is American and calls said series Down Town Abbey which makes us giggle) and I loved this series and were glued to it every Sunday. You’ll be glad to hear that they’ve commissioned another series.

  2. Not to worry! I know exactly what you mean! (I’ve said similar things to my sons – who just laugh at me. I tell them in your head you stick at 17, you stick at 30, and you stick at 35. Everything else? The mirror is lying!)
    :)

    Happy Friday!

    (And by the way, my mother studied Japanese in her 60s and 70s – and was quite good at it! So I’m with you on keeping what’s between the ears exercising.)

  3. Steven Harris

    My Mum and I were talking about this a while ago. She’s in her mid 70s now but still feels pretty much the same as when she was in her teens. I fluctuate between feeling like a fourteen year old and a man in his early 20s, both periods which were exciting and full of brand new experiences. I hope I can forever maintain that spirit of adventure and therefore remain young inside even when my body starts to go dormant around me.

  4. You did Algebra for FUN? Clearly, you are on your way towards dementia. Math is to be avoided at all costs.

    Love that picture at the end!

  5. If we always do what we have always done, we will always know what we have always known. I think social media is a great tool to help expand the mind. I am making friends with people all over the world who I would otherwise never meet. I am experiencing new cultures through what seem to be honest heartfelt writings without the spin of the media. I am inspired and encouraged everyday to participate in life. Thanks Jane for giving me the opportunity to think that one through. Have a Joyful Friday!

  6. Great Advice Jane. You are never too old to pick up a new lesson, passion, or interest. Love this!

  7. I’m all for exercising my brain. But not algebra. I will solve riddles, ponder the problems of the middle east peace crisis. But not algebra. The kids bring that homework home and I hide.

  8. I’m actually reading an American History text these days. It’s about people older then me.

  9. You’re absolutely right, Jane…the day I stop learning new things will be the day that I die! Words are my favourite thing to play with…when I’m not writing or reading, I’m playing word games online! I also love research of any kind!

    Wendy

  10. Wonderful advice. I too enjoy learning new things and keeping my mind fresh. I don’t know that I still have my old algebra text books, but it’s worth looking!

  11. Our 96 year old Aunt says she feels like she’s somewhere in her 60’s. She acts like it too! :) I’d do a lot to stay young like that..but algebra? That’s going to far! LOL

  12. I believe that a youthful mind shows on the outside too. I’ll pass on the algebra thanks, but then I did when I was young too. :D

  13. Well my Mom is hypermanic and unmedicated, so as far as energy and productiveness she is always going to kick my ass no matter how freaking old she gets. But I’m keeping the ‘try new things’ in mind as I struggle through electronic databases and government publications in my library technician courses — yeah, this annoying shit is TOTALLY keeping me young. Dude. :)

  14. Sometimes it’s hard for me to realize what my physical age is, because I think mentally I’m back around 40 or thereabouts. Except when I try to do too much physical stuff and then my body reminds me. I’m not into physical exercise (unless it’s something like gardening) but I do love mental exercise. As long as it’s not algebra.

  15. Funny… just heard segment about this on NPR Science Friday. They said THE most important thing for mental health was 40 minutes vigorous exercise 3X weekly. Most critical to start in middle age. Practice that new language while you’re walking! (sigh) I hope I’m not too late.

  16. unabridgedgirl

    Yay Masterpiece Theatre! XD Love it, love it, love it. Maggie Smith is incredible.

  17. I’ve been yearning for years to dig up some old algebra problems and give them a go. It’s nice to hear I’m not the only one! And I desperately need to start learning Romanian for our big move. We’ve got the language tapes; now if only I could find the time!

  18. LOVED this and the connection from your grandmother to your daughter through you. And I love Maggie Smith and the ideas of continuous learning.

  19. I think that’s the only thing that keeps us from feeling forelorn about aging…that we’re only as old as we feel, right?

  20. I was with you . . . until you said you had a blast doing Algebra problems. Numbers people. Ugh.

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