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Should We Say Farewell To Counting Candles?

Should We Say Farewell To Counting Candles?

By Susan Williams

One of my kids just celebrated their birthday. Chances are if I told you this in person, the first thing you would probably ask is how old they are.

But as I read yet another article on how age is just a number, I couldn’t help but wonder if we are possibly not celebrating the right thing when it comes to birthdays.

When we put a specific number of candles on the cake, are we focusing on someone’s number of years versus celebrating the actual person?

As much as we say age is just a number, it actually is. For example, as reported by CNN you have two ages. One is chronological and one is biological.

Your Chronological Age

Your chronological age is the age that you mark on the calendar. It’s the time that you have actually spent on this earth. It’s the number of candles you put on your cake.

Your Biological Age

Your biological age is actually more of an indication on how well your body and mind are aging. As the article shared;

“People with a biological age lower than their chronological age have a lower mortality risk, while those aging older from a biological standpoint have a higher mortality risk and are potentially more prone to developing the diseases associated with the higher age range”

What is really interesting is that there are now tests available to assess someone’s biological age. Conducting blood tests that reveal someone’s blood sugar, kidney and liver measures, immune and inflammation levels can all now be analyzed to estimate someone’s biological age.

The great news is that by getting this information, someone can then alter their lifestyle to help them lower their risks and in turn potentially extend their longevity.

So to get back to birthdays, we may not be recognizing someone’s right age anyways. If all the platitudes of age is just a number or that age doesn’t matter, then should we just stop counting candles?

What if we didn’t ask how old someone was on their birthday? What if we stopped making judgments or decisions based on someone’s age? Or even commenting on how well someone looked for their age?

Would this possibly help to reduce our age related views, expectations and even possibly ageism? For both the young and the old?

I realize that this idea is a bit “out there“. But if we are truly to drive age related biases and thinking from our society maybe this is a good place to start given that age is the first thing that we start tracking as soon as someone is born.

So here’s an idea. The next time you hear about or celebrate someone’s birthday, see if you can skip talking about their age and focus on the person instead.

After all, they are what really makes that day special anyways.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.