Friday, March 20, 2009

The Dangerous Years

My son was told that 27 is a dangerous year in the military. When people turn 30, it's a milestone - a sign that you're not a kid anymore. Maybe it's time to start taking care of yourself. But a 27 year old hasn't reached a warning milestone yet. One acts 20 until turning 30 but the body has 7 years of changes that are being ignored. I remember my 20s as being a time when I felt like I was all potential. Every day I had more skills, could do more, know more than the day before. Marriage and 4 kids later, I lost that confidence, that self-assurance.
The really dangerous period is 57. Even if you've taken really good care of yourself, your genetic weakness are showing. When the kids leave home, people begin to feel younger as their self-image of indispensable, irreplaceable parent dissolves. It's tempting to go back to being 17. The better one looks, the more physically active the lifestyle - the more likely one will fool himself into doing something no 57 year old was meant to do. Sixty is a young senior. Statisticians say if you can make it to 60, you'll most likely be able to make it to 80. So watch the 7 years. They are the ones when the gap between your perception of yourself and reality is wide enough to get your into serious trouble.

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