I was very lucky growing up. I knew all my grandparents and two of my great-grandparents. My Dad’s parents lived less than a mile away and were my day care providers before and after school. I could write multiple blog about what I learned from them, but what they didn’t realize they were teaching me was my concept of age.
My grandparents (excluding one who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis) were all healthy active, adults. My 95-year-old great grandma was still bowling six months before she died. My grandpa and dad took us skiing and sailing when we were kids. Two months ago my grandparents (89 and 83 years old) flew to New Orleans to take a cruise. A few years ago they went to England and Ireland.
Sure, some of this is clearly good genes, but they also made choices that kept them mobile. They enjoy life and take advantage of fun opportunities.
I think seeing this was important to my upbringing because I never thought of as sixty as old–my grandparents just didn’t seem like old people. I wasn’t the kind of kid that thought my teachers were all old at thirty. I knew my grandparents were older and they didn’t seem old to me. My grandparents forever influenced how I define age.
People do get old. There seems to be a change around eighty. At eighty all my grandparents seemed to need to slow down a bit (my grandfather’s doctor basically forced him to retire from the part time job he’d been working since his actual retirement), but they are still active.
If you are a grandparent–no matter what your age–show your grandchildren that sixty isn’t old. You can be living proof that age is only a number.