The day I celebrated my 69th birthday, I began making this statement in my road shows, “Next year I will be 70.” My wife Diane challenged me, “Why would you say that? 70 is still 365 days away. Why in the world would you use that number now?” Here is why I did it.
I did it because every time I told people I was going to be 70 someone would respond, “Oh my! You don’t look that old!” That was always a boost for my ego.
Recently a little girl stood at my merchandise table after a show staring at me with eyes filled with wonder.
“Do you want an autograph?” I asked.
She shyly shook her head no.
“Did you want to tell me something?” I inquired.
I got down on one knee confident – knowing that this would be an opportunity to inspire a child and impart wisdom she would never forget.
She leaned forward and with a sweet smile whispered.“Up close, you’re really old!” So much for the ego boost!
The following routine has appeared on the internet in various forms. Originally it was attributed to George Carlin but he denied being the author. Regardless of where it started, I found it to be very true and very funny.
When you’re very young you nudge the number of your age.
‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m four and a half!’ or ‘I’m gonna be five.’
As a teenager you jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. ‘How old are you?’ ‘I’m gonna be 16!’ Even if you are 13 you want people to know that you’re ‘gonna be 16.’
You become 21. It’s a celebration. I HAVE ARRIVED. I have become 21!
But then you TURN 30. Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. No more fun. It’s to late for fun. You’ve turned.
Then you’re PUSHING 40. What happened to looking forward to a special birthday milestone. Push forty away. Keep it at arms length as long as possible BECAUSE it leads to reaching 50!
You MAKE it to 60. I should be gone by now, but I’m not. I made it.
So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.
By that time you’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!
You get into your 80’s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; ‘I Was JUST 92.’
Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. ‘I’m 100 and a half!’
Evidently at 69 I’m already a little kid again. Or at least I have reverted to a teenager. I’m jumping a full year ahead. At 69 I’m already telling people I am 70. I am grateful for the crazy little boy running around inside me. I embrace him because he keeps me young.
If you are among the “exceptionally experienced” in our culture, I encourage you to
1. Stay positive.
2. Stay curious. Learn something new at least once a month.
3. Keep your sense of humor. Laugh hard. Laugh a lot.
4. Hold tight to the people you love.
5. Take care of your body. It’s the only one you have.
6. Hold tight to your Creator, the One who loves you most.
7. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
You’re not old! You’re ripe! There’s a difference.
How do you stay young? I love seeing your comments. [reminder]
Read more about living fully alive by clicking here.
I read the Bible. Memorize Scripture passages, such as II Cor. 4:16-18.
Don’t stop moving or making new friends. If you stop moving your body freezes up. If you quit making friends your life gets dull. Don’t worry about tomorrow because God is already there. Always be grateful in good times and bad.
Love your humor Ken. Laughter really is good medicine.
I’m 75 and grateful every day for all that I have been blessed with.
Just watched your sermon about Jesus raising Lazarus. I loved the clues and the diamond at the end. Thanks for your ministry.
Setting goals that are so large that I must depend upon God to reach them. Help children at a Christian camp for at risk kids catch their first fish. Play volleyball at an international level. At 57 I can look forward to 77+ plus age levels, so I can play with kids my own age. Work on building stronger relationships with family and friends as that doesn’t come naturally and effort is required by me.
I am 46 and my husband will be 54 in a couple weeks. we will be fostering older children soon. Not sure if that will keep us young or give us more gray hair 🙂 but we know it will be a blessing, We feel God has been calling us to do this for some time now, we were just too “nervous” to try. but we have been feeling the call more strongly the past year. We have 2 boys of our own but they are grown and out
of the house so other than the cat and dog we are “empty nesters” It will feel good to have children in the home again.
I hang out with old people. How long will that work?
Getting old is unavoidable but acting your age is optional I’m 49 pushing 50 and I refuse to let the number of my age hold me down, my kids scratch there heads in wonder because they are sometimes embarrassed by my behavior and sense of humor God has givin me this gift of life and I love love love how my mind works although it’s not perfect I’m unique it’s no wonder God blessed my wife and I with 3 girls ages are 19, 18, and 15 yikes I feel like I lost my man card hanging out with them but it’s what I have.
I am 66 and feeling not a day older then 23! When I read your “advice” I thought, “its funny, that is exactly what I,m doing” 🙂 all 7! 🙂 I like to ad something: do not take anything for granted!
I have learned to embrace my life because it comes from the One who has a plan & purpose for me. I trust completely in Him & get excited each day to see what He is going to bring forth in my life. At the ripe old age of “48”, I am learning that life truly is a gift that He has given us. Now I know & realize that there is nothing to fear in growing older because every moment & every day is to be treasured.
The I Forgot Song.
I Forgot – YouTube
Video for i forgot youtube▶ 3:15
Its the I forget song by Tom Rush if anyone wants to look it up.
In addition theres a great one by a guy called Golf Brooks
I like the line form an old Tom T. Hall song, “I turned 65 11 months ago.” This month I using, “I turned 66 11 months ago.”
I count the days, but, then again according to the doctors I’ve beaten the odds more than once. To stay young I like to enjoy the jokes that God pulls on me, how can you not laugh when he makes one pop tart in the package taste like musty cloth and the other one taste like a roast meat (could have been bison, elk, or beef I’m not sure) sandwich or, when my shot of whiskey taste like dill. One of the best ways I have found to stay young is to live like everyday is special, because, they really are special.
Just love (no REALLY REALLY LIKED, because I love God the Father, Son & Spirit!) your post about aging. I turned 66 in August and qualified for half my husband’s social security, which was more than twice what my humble salaries (before devoting my life to our children) would have earned, so I was glad to be 66. Now, months later, I’m quite comfortable feeling 15 inside but looking my age! The Lord has blessed me with this age and I’m going to be commissioned to be a chaplain by my church authorities this spring– I’ve volunteered in nursing homes the past 30 years, and now the national church is recognizing my skill and heart for ministry! Our children are grown, married, and serving the Lord in their own families, my husband is retired, but I’m feeling like a teenager, eager to go forward with Christ my Lord, serving Him however He leads! Yay!
This was timely for me. Today is my birthday and I am 59:) My thought is next year I will qualify for the senior discounts…tee hee! Blessings to you.
Trying to keep up with my grandsons who have more energy than 10 sticks of dynamite.
I dye my hair and then add highlights to make it look like I’very been out in the sun! My granddaughter says it makes me look 10 years younger, and I’m sure she’s right!
But my husband (who says I’m beautiful) says it’s not worth the money I spend on it. We’ve been married 41 (+1/2 yrs), and I think he’s letting himself age too fast, but he won’t dye his hair, no way, cause he’s earned his grey! Then he wonders why our friends say he looks much older than me, haha!
I stay young by enjoying the DAY that I have! Tomorrow will come soon enough, yesterday has already gone……enjoy TODAY, the moment……and laugh a LOT! The Lord wants us to enjoy LIFE. He gave it to us. To enjoy and use for His Glory.
I am now ” Limping along ” at 77. You have not that word yet.
I had a back operation that was not successful and I now walk with a cane/walker, but life is and will always be an adventure depending on the Lord. He is my everything in this life.
I thank you for the laughs you give me day after day and week after week.
Great Advise!! Just turned 68.
P.S. Love your name!!
Thank you for laughter!!! Widowed seven months ago after being married to THE most wonderful man God ever created, some days tears out number smiles. Your ‘Lighten Up’ on radio and now this blog are such Blessings for my spirit.
Some days I feel 69, other days I feel 29..so I act 29..wash my car..clean my house…and the next day is one of those “somedays” and I realize I am 69.
Mark Lowry did a bit quite a few years ago using those same words to describe the decades. Maybe he knows where it came from or maybe he started it.
I wish I could change the avatar that was given to me. That looks AWFUL!
Ken, many years ago, I would add 10 to 20 years to my age. That way I would get complements as to how good I looked! Now I’m almost 69 but telling I’m 89 ! I look great! Just a fountain of youth!
Maybe it’s my memory or lack of, that I add # to my age, or not!
I write poetry and wrote this little silly one last year (on my 65th)! Hope you enjoy! I LOVED your article. So beautifully written and wise. You put it all in great perspective. You will be 70 years YOUNG!
Sixty-FREAKING-five, impossible I say
I wonder how this could be
Beaming smile, so like my own
Innocent thief of my stolen youth
Are those Mama’s eyes I see
Oh no wait, that cannot be
When I reached 50,I said that I was 5 decades. I have been using it ever since then and last December I turned 8 decades. After all Jack Benny stayed 39 until he passed.
I go riding or driving my horses every chance I get!
I love tbis article
Yes I’m ripe for the harvest of the golden years
fermented into a fine wine
Hoping to have many more good years to enjoy
and like you Ken, I embrace that little joyful boy
running around inside of me and keep discovering
who I really am, just a kid at heart.
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I onnce again find myself personally spending a significant amount
of time both reading and leaving ϲomments.
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