Some people are young when they become grandparents. Some people are not. Am I speaking of chronology here? You might think so. And, I’m sure you understand that almost no matter how one looks at age, chronology generally has something to do with it.
For example, April is my grandson Landon’s first birthday.
I wanted to be with him to celebrate his first birthday, so I traveled across North America to be there. After all, a first birthday is a day of increased significance if only because of its position. It is a first!
We often use “first” as a measuring stick throughout our lives. And Landon’s first birthday is a measure of significant progress. Celebrating it with him taught me about measuring age in ways beyond the numbers.
Landon is young. That fact is beyond dispute. But, how about you and me? Are you and I young? Perhaps we’re not chronologically, but you and I can use Landon’s four measurements of living a youthful life as a guide to determining our non-chronological age.
Vision: Landon is just learning to walk. That means he is anxious to explore. His eyes drink the world in and he rushes to explore everything he sees. I found him examining everything he could see, touch and taste. As I watched him, I soon found that I had become blind to much of my surrounding world.
Who knew that the fireplace in his family room had small stones in its base? Landon. People who live in a youthful way have a broad and detailed vision of the big, wide world right down to the tiny and seemingly insignificant. They use that vision to explore everything around them with excitement and energy. Their visionary approach to the world prepares them to become more.
Preparation: Landon has taught me that preparation is pursuing the now and new. Most of us think of preparation as shoring ourselves up so we can manage whatever unknowns are thrown at us. Yes. That is true. And, it is having the ability to overcome personal fears by engaging in the world now, while exploring the new. It’s the way a person begins to have increased capacity, by becoming filled with the surrounding infinite.
Practice: Living with infinite possibility requires resilience, which is another way of suggesting practice. Landon follows his inner voice to keep moving. It prods him forward no matter how many times he falls. He walks, crawls, and climbs, over and over again. Then, as if by magic, he masters another skill. His desire for practice is far stronger than any internal fear or trepidation.
Risk: Because Landon uses the entire world as his practice field, his view of risk has been transformed. It has transformed him into a risk taker. I’m not talking about being a daredevil here. I’m talking about engaging in the world around you and me. Landon isn’t worried about what other people think. He’s busy being focused on exploration.
He’s exploring the world around him, how he fits in it, what he can learn from it and how to interact with it. He understands that the real risk is the risk that comes from a lack of growth, the absence of risk.
If a person’s living is absent of any one of Landon’s four measures of youth, they are at risk of aging. Are you at risk? Are you an old grandparent? Are you an old parent? Are you just old? Perhaps you’re old in a young body? Would you like to feel youthful again?
Incorporate Landon’s First Measurements of Youthful Living into your way of life and see if the combination will allow you to begin to measure your age differently.
Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.