Until I recently turned 56 years old, I never understood the saying “Youth is wasted on the young.”
That old saw always seemed to be a tired and vaguely jealous complaint by a bunch of cranky older folks wishing to relive their salad days (Millenials: look it up).
I think I get it now, though, and it’s not a happy thought.
All of us are born with one life to live and one body to live it in.
How many of us can look back on our youth and think “Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t change one single thing about how I lived my life.” Not many, I’ll bet.
If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while now, you know that I do not hold with living a regretful life, constantly looking backward and reviewing past mistakes and unhappy situations.
Well, I’m not talking about that now, what I am thinking about is more along the lines of “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time to plant a tree is today.” Or something like that.
Back in our youth, perhaps we didn’t treat our bodies like they had to last many decades. We might not have eaten well, exercised properly, taken care of our bones and internal organs to help them thrive over their many years of use. But hey, we didn’t really know then, not specifically, or not that we listened to.
Now, as we age (and all of us, Millenials included, are aging every single day), we wish we didn’t know now what we didn’t know then…but we do know. We know we shouldn’t stress our heart and joints by carrying around extra weight, and we shouldn’t hurt our lungs by smoking or our livers by overindulging in alcohol. But guess what, we DO know it now.
And as much as we would like to think “well, it’s probably too late to do anything about it now,” consider the tree planting. Yes, it would have been better to start 20 years ago, but the next best time to start is today.