The Fountain of Youth

Photo- Carmine Sarazen
Photo Courtesy of Carmine Sarazen

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. Sophia Loren

Recently, I was reading a magazine article (Think Like a Guy, Oprah Magazine, May 2013) written by Gabrielle Reece who published a new book entitled My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper. A thought provoking excerpt from that article really got me thinking about age and growing older gracefully.

Gabrielle writes “Perhaps the ultimate lesson of getting older is learning to check our egos at the door. Losing our dignity and independence is the fear beneath our anxiety about aging. It’s not so much the lines and sunspots on our faces; it’s more what the lines and sunspots sign; that life moves in only one direction. Yet every day the sun rises, and each day is our own. I’m reminded of the Emerson quote: “No one suspects the days to be gods.”

I looked up the entire Emerson quote and here is what it said: “Heaven walks among us ordinarily muffled in such triple or tenfold disguises that the wisest are deceived and no one suspects the days to be gods.”

When we are young we think we will live forever. We take daring chances more easily, we don’t break as hard, we push forward thinking we have all the time in the world. As I age, that time seems smaller and smaller, though with life expectancies what they are, who knows how long I’ll live?

I used to think retirement (kind of) meant the end. Done. Gardening, long cups of coffee in the morning, maybe a bit of travel, pans of pastichio for the church food festival. But lately I’m thinking there is more. I am starting to open my mind to think that the fountain of youth is in new challenges, new ways of growing. It’s also in “giving back”; passing along some help, friendship and wisdom to those who may need it at just the right time.

Faith can also provide the necessary ingredient to guard against age panic. I find that when I touch that grace filled spot within me, I am young all over again. Physical being can always be transcended; it is in our mind and heart where we can drink from the fountain again and again.

How do you feel about age? 

Join me on my graceful journey.
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15 Replies to “The Fountain of Youth”

  1. Now you have me thinking and wondering……if I removed all mirrors and reflective surfaces and couldn’t see too much physical evidence, I don’t think I would notice that I was ageing greatly. Or would I? And, I am not sure I want to defeat age but I want us to get along together and be good friends. Blessings to you Joanne for keeping my mind full of lively questions.

    1. Well, this one was a stretch for even me! The thought of not paying attention to those little wrinkles, stiff back, etc and instead focusing on challenging my mind? Wow, now that’s a thought!
      Blessings to you as you head into spring. We are heading into fall soon!

      1. And the most curious and interesting thing of all is that for all our lives we do actually make new brain cells, and our minds are plastic, so ,in some respects, the mind is probably more responsive to revitalisation/ rejuvenation than any other part of our bodies.

  2. So sorry I missed this yesterday! What a great and thought provoking post. I am too busy to grow old at the moment, lol! I prefer to think of the lines on my face as battle scars! Some of the extra ones are from my recent weight loss, though. Yes, I have aches and pains I didn’t have before but these kids keep me hopping and as I said, I don’t have time for growing old! Hair dye takes care of the grey and it makes me smile when people mistake my grand kids for my kids! It certainly helps that genetics have been kind to me! A friend I was just chatting with said her grandmother used to tell people that she was 10 year older than she really was, so they would compliment her on how great she looked! Ha! Smart lady!

  3. Such an honest and accepting view of aging. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Focusing on ‘giving back’ and being thankful for each day is my way of staying in the present too. Who knows what the future will bring? It may be nice after all, I may age and pass on with my brain and body working reasonably well! I leave behind all thoughts of dementia, knee replacements, Parkinson’s, cataract surgeries and the like behind when I leave my office!

  4. Hi Joanne, age panic has struck me a few times as I am approaching 70. It is definitely a reality check( haha)! I do find that the “things”(stuff) that I thought were so important, really aren’t that important anymore. I too feel growing old gracefully is so much more than the leisure time that we all once longed for. It is just not as fullfilling & rewarding as I once thought! Passing along wisdom, help, friendship, & our “presence” to others, is a wonderful challenge to keep us young! I do think drinking from the Fountain of Youth also gives us courage! Maybe the courage to say, “it is more important to be happy than right!” I think I will start training for a marathon…haha ! Great post!

    1. I can’t believe you are almost 70. I honestly hope I have as much energy and good looks at that age! 🙂
      Seriously, I agree that it is more important to be happy than right. What a great thought for today!

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