This morning I read the New York Times article In Praise of Agatha Christie's Accidental Sleuths. I am an avid reader and have been a mystery fan for my entire reading life, so this piece caught my eye. With thanks to author Radhika Jones for helping me discover these Christie gems (which I put on reserve at my local library within minutes of finishing the article), I came across this timely thought by one of Christie's characters, Tuppence:
At this novel's climax ["By the Pricking of My Thumbs"], Tuppence, closeted with an unlikely killer, has an epiphany: She realizes, simply and profoundly, that she is old. Lulled by the enduring sharpness of her mind, she has forgotten that her body is no longer that of the 20-something gamin who suffered chloroforming and kidnapping in the name of good mystery fun.
Okay, let me be upfront, I never was chloroformed or kidnapped. Otherwise, Tuppence's thoughts ring true for me. I am 62 and a half. Three years ago I read another NYT article What's Your Fitness Age?
by Gretchen Reynolds and then answered the questions for the Fitness Age Calculator
she mentions. At that time, the online questionnaire calculated I had the fitness age of an average 35 year old. I just responded to the questionnaire again, and this time it tells me I have the fitness age of an average 40 year old. Both times I responded to the extended questionnaire, figuring the more information provided, the more accurate the calculation. I even knew how much time I spent sitting because in December 2015 I did an experiment
to find out how much time I spent sitting and standing.
My brain – me – has always felt younger than my biological age. My body has usually gone along with that thought. But the simple biological fact is, like each of us, my body is aging. That is what it is supposed to do. And as my body has aged, bits and pieces here and there start to show their wear. My fitness age may be younger than my biological age, but no way am I the "20-something gamin" of the 1970s. And the realization that my body is older, and there are parts that DO need TLC so they continue to function optimally, is something I have to periodically remind myself. Ha, even the internist who I see annually, and who has known me for many years, told me that I should reframe my self-image to catch up with my body reality. Not exactly the optimistic comment I would have made, but I got her point then and get it now. To keep my body in optimum health means I have to acknowledge those parts that will do better if they are cut some slack.
This doesn't mean letting up on daily activity. But as my husband likes to say, everything in moderation. And perhaps I chose to write this post just to remind myself of this advice. :-)