How To Think Young And Stay Young – A Battle Of The Mind?

When each of my kids turns nine years old, I always say the same thing. “Hey,  you are nine today!  That means half of your childhood is over!” And I smile. Their typical response has been to smile back at me, because being 18 means you are an adult and hey, adults can do whatever they want and go wherever they please without asking mommy first. So that’s something to look forward to in the eyes of a nine year old.

But my son Alex had a different reaction.  When I told him that half of his childhood was over on the morning of his ninth birthday, he looked at me with a horrified expression that clearly said Oh My Gosh What Are You Saying?!!! Then his face crumpled up and he got all teary-eyed.  I saw his reaction and immediately tried to retract my words,  but you can’t unsay something you’ve said, so his mind was already going with the idea and there was no stopping it. He kept saying, “But I don’t want my childhood to be over!”  Poor kid, traumatized on his birthday. Who knew he would get so upset about the thought of getting older?

But I have to be honest. On my 45th Birthday last year I was feeling a little something similar to what Alex felt.  I had arrived at an age that when you double it you get the number 90, and I suddenly realized that I had probably already lived half of my life.  I kept thinking,  Oh My Gosh Half of My Life is Over!! Ahhhh!

Yep, I had a little moment on that birthday. I guess the idea of getting old unnerved me a bit.  But since then I have given it some thought.  At what age are we considered old?  I mean, is there a set number?

My good friend Rene just turned eighty and we hang together like BFF’s.  She took me cruising in her car just last week.


Selfie!!   Rene is the one on the right, just so you know.  Check her out in her sporty baseball cap, looking and acting anything but old.

So what is old?

old; adjective. having lived for a long time; no longer young.

No longer young?  What, then, is young?

young; adjective.  having lived or existed for only a short time.  synonyms: youthful,  juvenile

It seems we just need to stay youthful and continue to act juvenile and then we will, by definition, never be old!   If this holds true then I have nothing to worry about.  I still color in coloring books.  I love coloring now just as much as I did when I was eight years old (youthful!)  and when I watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island and Bugs Bunny with my kids, I still laugh at the humor ( juvenile!).

Maybe age should be defined not so much by our years but rather by our attitude.  My friend Rene has lived now for 80 years, but that doesn’t make her old.  I asked her what it’s like to be eighty and she said, “You know, in my mind I really feel no differently now than I did at 30 or 40.  I think we are only as old as we see ourselves.”

I think she is absolutely right.



Having kept a journal from the time she could write, Katrina Roldan has a passion for storytelling.  She is the author of the popular blog They All Call Me Mom where she shares the joys and trials of raising a large family.  You can keep up with Katrina via her blog, on Instagram, and on Facebook.   She lives in Southern California with her fire fight’n husband and their ten children. 

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