What is 'be old later'?
This is a phrase that we try to keep with us everyday to help remind us that, as we get older, we shouldn't let a number decide how we live our lives. For examples in our main hobbies, we can easily be reminded of this by looking at the outdoors community -- the greats and the weekend warriors that keep their fire and love for the outdoors alive by physical activity and sport. Every time we go out, we are guaranteed to see someone who has been climbing or trekking for longer that we've been alive, still crushing it just as hard or often harder than the younger people out that day. This spirit and drive shows us that we can continue to do the things we love into our later years. Not as a means to prove something, but for the sheer joy of being outdoors and doing something we enjoy. I can't deny that my health will eventually fade as my years on this planet increase, but it should be my goal to ignore that as much as possible and continue to do the things I love. Though my hypothesis obviously isn't scientific, I feel that this attitude will sustain my health and keep me active and mentally happy for longer than if I didn't pursue tough physical activity. I'll update you "later".
Be old later is also a reminder to embrace the child inside you. As we grow and become 'functioning members of society,' we often lose hold of our dreams, our ability to play, and our uninhibited creativity. The classic "astronaut" answer to "what do you want to be when you grow up?" is cute. It's exciting. It's one of the biggest things a kid can think of. Before you tie in to the societal grid and start fending for yourself and needing money to afford your chosen lifestyle, you have this idea of something that might be fun. Something that you would like to do because it sounds exciting instead of giving you a big paycheck. For some kids, that same excitement might be "a garbage man!" A doctor. A teacher. Something wild that no one has ever considered as a career. As much as I realize the need to survive within the rules of our current world, I hope to be able to still do the things that interest me, occasionally veering from a career path to explore other opportunities, trades, or lifestyles that may teach me something or provide fulfillment in more ways than just monetary compensation.
One of the things I enjoy most about this phrase is the ambiguity of the last word "later". It's a procrastinators dream. Any time I say this to myself, it's always a reminder that I will get to "being old" some other time than now. To me this phrase has nothing to do with someone's age, ability, or situation, but more to do with a person's attitude. It is a choice to strive to be your best, unencumbered self and to keep your dreams, creativity and your active ability alive and pumping. This is the idea that has motivated us to set off on this huge journey, to explore the Americas and never limit our dreams about what we expect from this life.
It's been a long time since I've written more than a text message, so please bear with me on getting some of these clumsy thoughts out of my head. I'll be writing at middle school level in no time. Also, the next blog entry will have pictures, I promise!