Youth is wasted on the young.
Young people often fail to realize how lucky they are. Good health. Energy. Optimism. Smiling without wrinkles. The ability to start their night out at 11PM and wake up, mere hours later, to go to work.
We glamorize looking young. Our cupboards are full of anti-aging lotions and foods that will starve off wrinkles. We pay people to poke us, stretch us, and nip us, all in the name of looking young again. I have a friend, whom I love dearly, who smiled less for a whole year so she wouldn’t get wrinkles.
When we’re old, our bodies aren’t the way they used to be. It takes longer to heal from injuries. Our minds aren’t as sharp. We become more forgetful. Our skin wrinkles and sags with time. We complain about jowls, bat wings, and muffin tops.
But growing old is a luxury that not everyone gets. Not everyone grows old. A terminal cancer diagnosis when you’re young is a forceful reminder of that.
You see people struggling to accept grey hairs, wrinkles, and bodies that aren’t what they used to be and instead, these signs of aging are actually beautiful reminders that they have lived.
They are lucky to use a senior’s discount, a badge they’ve earned for living a long life.
They are lucky to have their mortgage paid off after many years of hard work.
They are lucky to see their kids grow up and have kids of their own, which they will spoil with love, sugar, and toys (in that order) and then send them back home to their parents.
They are lucky to have time to ponder their legacy, the impact they will leave behind. To donate to the causes that are so near and dear to them. To make a difference in others’ lives by imparting their wisdom.
They are lucky they get to grow old and see their partner grow old with them.
Yet so many would do anything to be young again. I argue that aging is wasted on the old.
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