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John A. Amaro D.C., FIACA, Dipl.Ac.

From the moment of our birth, until the last day of life we are continuously maturing and aging. From the womb to the tomb, the basket to the casket, life is dynamic change. It's meant to be that way. Those who cannot or will not appreciate the phases of our lives become miserable. Aging is normal, natural and predictable

Until the 25th year 9th month of our existence when the last bone in our body ossifies, growth is steady, however at that time, the body begins a degenerative path which depending on how you have taken care of yourself (or not) the body begins to age slowly or rapidly.

If you will recall, it took an incredibly long time for all of us,from the time we were five years old until our 21st birthday. In fact, in retrospect, it seemed like ages. WHY ?????? It was just 15 short years but it seemed so much longer.

The answer to that question is simply philosophical and expectation, because when we were five we couldn't wait to be seven. When we were seven, we couldn't wait to be 10. When we were 10 we couldn't wait to be 13. When we were 13 we couldn't wait to be 16. When we were 16 we couldn't wait to be 18. And of course when we were 18, we couldn't wait to be 21.

I wonder what would happen if we would became childlike and when asked our age, respond by saying 67 ½ or 48 ½ . Ever notice how children always put in that half, even if they're not quite at the half way mark. They look forward to their next birthday. What would happen instead of dreading it, we actually looked forward to being 50, 60, 70 and beyond ? The answer, our perception of aging would be totally altered. We would still biologically and physically age, however mentally, we would stay youthful and vigorous. As long as we are young mentally, we will be young forever.

Recently, I celebrated my 50th birthday. On that morning I have to admit I felt a little forelorned as I anticipated the numbers of cards, balloons and flowers which would be adorned with black "over the hill" messages. What would the day bring. Besides that, my birthday also falls on "April Fool's Day".

That day was an incredible day of age healing and awareness for me as "Fate" would have it (which it always does), brought in to the office dozens of cards, balloons and flowers none of which had any mention of being "over the hill". However, the most significant event was the fact I saw over 50 patients that day who were well into their late 70's and 80's. The general comment I heard all day long was " You're 50, you're just a child". " I can hardly remember being 50". What a great day!!!! Because of those people that fate brought to see me that day, I can go easily into my 50's realizing we have a long way to go before we become old. In fact I'm not sure when that is, but it certainly isn't before 85.

Because I was born in the second year of the 'baby boomer", and those of us who are true baby boomers know quite well, there has never been a generation like us in the history of mankind. We automatically, get to deduct 10 years at age 50 anyway, which means when you hit 50, it's actually like 40. Those of you who are more than 51 which is the age of the first baby boomer (1946) can back up the calendar five full years. So enjoy it!

The following list of aging signs are only meant to be humorous and not to be taken as reality. Laugh at these rules, do not adopt them. From this day forth, look forward to your next birthday.

Remember, "youth is a feeling, not an age" . Keep your mind active, develop young interests, volunteer, exercise, walk, socialize, eat well, go to a ball game, preferably little league, surround yourself with kids. Have fun. Watch the classic movie "A Christmas Carol", feel the message.

It is said, "A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a single step". Good luck on your journey.

· Your back goes out more often than you do.

· Your children begin to look middle aged.

· Your knees buckle but your belt won't.

· The little gray haired lady you helped across the street is your wife.

· You feel like the night after and you haven't been anywhere.

· The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your bifocals.

· After painting the town red, you discover it's just a mild pink.

· You find you can't tolerate people who are intolerant.

· The best part of your day is over when your alarm clock goes off.

· You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there.

· You feel your corns instead of your oats.

· You get winded playing scrabble.

· You burn midnight oil until dark.

· You have too much room in the house and not enough room in the medicine cabinet.

· You get your exercise acting as pallbearer for friends who exercised.


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