“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl
We live in a world that worships youth not wisdom. People with attractive faces, high breasts (for females!) and dewy skin are favoured over those with wrinkles, drooping appendages and sagging jowls. Youth is worshipped, beauty adored and experience falls by the wayside.
Traditionally “ladies” aren’t supposed to reveal their age. Especially when they’re getting on a bit.
Will you view me differently if I tell you I’m the wrong side of 40 with crow’s feet (ooops, I mean laughter lines) and what my daughter calls a “dimpled” bottom? Will you write me off as a “has been” who’s out of touch with modern life?
I’m pretty sure you won’t ~ what we’re creating here is a community of genuine and deep-thinking individuals who judge people on their values and knowledge, not their looks.
Even though I’m vintage 1968, I think I’ve got a fairly youthful attitude and I think that’s because I’m naturally curious and eager to try new things.
I also made a decision a few years ago not to let the fear of embarrassment, failure or ridicule stop me from doing things I want to do. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
I don’t think this attitude gives me a licence to be tragically youthful. For example, there’s a line you have to draw when choosing clothes at my age; the micro-mini skirts and midriff tops I sported in my twenties aren’t being aired much (or ever) these days. Certainly not in public anyway. But with this new attitude I learned to surf at 40 and I actually play at the playground with my kids or on the inflatable obstacle course at the public swimming pool. It’s fun and helps keep me fit too.
So What Is the Secret of Eternal Youth?
Forget expensive wrinkle-busting face creams and life-endangering plastic surgery. They might make you look young but it won’t help what’s going on in the inside.
The secret of staying young is about:
1. Maintaining a youthful attitude;
2. Being curious;
3. Trying new things at any age.
Make sure you don’t get stuck in a routine as you get older or pigeon hole yourself as a certain type of person. When you try new things you’ll be surprised to find that activities you weren’t expecting to enjoy are actually fun.
How to Achieve Eternal Youth: Roald Dahl’s Secret
I’ve written before about how much I love Roald Dahl and his books. His childrens’ classics such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr. Fox, as well as his adult short stories like Tales of the Unexpected are sheer creative genius.
When you read Dahls’ autobiographies, Boy and Going Solo, you start to appreciate his playful mind. Dahl’s outlook on life stayed enquiring and youthful into his old age. He tapped into childlike thinking, mischief, playfulness and pleasures, and carried on writing great books even when he was in his seventies.
Dahl died at the ripe old age of 74, despite his naughty smoking habit, and I love the quote which was inscribed on a rock in his garden. I know it’s at the top of this article but it’s worth rereading:
“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
I’m vowing to follow Dahl’s advice for secret youth and:
- always watch the world with glittering eyes;
- keep trying to unearth great secrets in unlikely places;
- believe in the possibility of magic no matter how old and jaded I get.
If anything can keep us staying forever young this will. At least until we keel over from old age after living a life in which we left no stone unturned.
Do you know the Secrets of Eternal Youth? Have you got any tips for staying youthful?
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