All We Can Do Is Grow Old

There is nothing glorious about studying ageing. Unless you have found the key to stopping it, no one wants to talk to you!

There are creams, diets, exercise regimes, surgeries, meditations, and more that all promise to hide, delay, or even reverse ageing- but let me save you the trouble and say you might as well eat that chocolate cake on your best friend’s birthday because the reality- unfortunate or not (that’s up to you)- is that ageing is not just inevitable, it is occurring.

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

We tend to think of ageing as something that happens at the dreaded five-O. Like, somehow, a half-century into life a switch is thrown and everything starts going downhill (literally if you have breasts :/). This delusion cannot be farther from the truth. From the moment you came into existence you have been ageing. In fact, the two cells that came together- and eventually underwent enough divisions and differentiations to become you- were already ageing prior to their meeting (there is a reason people freeze their eggs and sperm when they hit thirty- or even earlier). Before you were even close to being you, you were already old and getting older.

These sperm and this egg are already a certain age and will only get older.

These sperm and this egg are already a certain age and will only get older.

While there are gerontologists (people who study the psychosocial, cognitive, and biological aspects of ageing) who are looking for the key to hiding, delaying, and reversing ageing- most of us are just simply trying to understand this inescapable process that everyone and everything must go through- even paintings show their age. How can we ease the process of ageing? Not hide it, delay it, or reverse it- but just make the process easier. It’s not glitzy, but it’s important.

I never thought I would study ageing- and still sometimes cringe at the thought of it because it’s not “popular” like aeronautics, cloning, pandas, or cancer.  Ageing is the elephant in the room- the thing that connects us to everything in the universe because nothing knows infinity or eternity.

So what else is there to do but eat that piece of cake, hit the snooze button, blurt out “I love you”, and go skydiving?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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