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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Is Your Perception of Aging?

I know it may seem cliche to bring up the idea of a "New Year's Resolution" when there is already so much discussion about this in the month of January. Personally, I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions but rather think about my "intentions" for the new year.

To help with this process, I'm reading a wonderful book entitled, "70 is the New 40: Bonus Years Here We Come!," by Barbara Penn-Atkins. Her book provides a look at our perceptions of aging and how as a society, we are living longer - an average of 29 to 30 years longer in fact! Barbara states in her book, "Your personal image of aging is your perception of who you are and who you wish to be."

Her quote reminded me of an aging concept I learned in my Certified Senior Advisor training. I learned that age is perceived through three factors:
  1. Our Chronological Age (number based on when someone is born)
  2. Our Functional Age (what a person can physically do)
  3. Our Subjective Age (how old someone feels)

This aging concept and Barbara's comments have served as a great reminder to me that age is truly just a number. As I set my intentions for 2011 and quickly approach my 40th birthday next month, I'm reflecting on my own feelings about aging and I'm looking forward to the next decade of my life!

Now, I ask you to reflect on your perceptions of aging, your personal vision for the future and where you see yourself in the next decade?

*Book citation: "70 is the New 40: Bonus Years Here We Come!" Barbara Penn-Atkins, Llumina Press - 2009


Christie Munson, CSA, lives and works in Phoenix, AZ and is the Communications Manager for a retirement community and a Professional Organizer, specializing in senior services. She can be contacted via email at