I doubt that today’s living as young as you feel day is dedicated to the five or even twenty-five year olds. It is dedicated to those over a ‘certain age’ who may yearn for permission to behave in a way that conveys they are as young as they feel.
Marion P. Downs needs no permission.
At age thirty-five, when all her children were in school, she rebelled against assumptions about mid-life women by returning to university, and graduating with a Master’s degree in Audiology.
Last year, her hundredth birthday gala celebration raised money in support of The Marion Downs Hearing Centre, which opened May 2005 at the University of Colorado Medical Centre.
At ninety-three, she wrote the book Shut Up and Live:You know How.
It‘s her guide on living to a ripe old age and feeling the exuberance of life, every day.
The book is a spirited celebration of life from a woman who has proven you can live vibrantly no matter how old you are. The title is the phrase she uses to handle any apprehension she may feel as she ages. Apparently, its origin began when, even after taking 20 lessons to ski on her fifty birthday, she was afraid to ski. Her instructor said, “Shut up and ski, you know how”.
One essay on how her body continues to survive and even thrive due to modern medicine is witty, yet clearly demonstrates that Marion has not been blessed with a life free of illnesses or surgeries. She is not saying to age well one must break records for fitness, only that one must accept and deal with the aliments of age while living life with an exuberant heart.
She quotes Edith Wharton:
In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways.
For Marion, living life as young as one feels entails lots of exercise, close friends, capable doctors, prudent meals, and a touch of the extreme.
As Marion Downs continues into her second century of living, she is vibrant with inspiring vision and direction.
Life is less about living as young as you feel and more about aging with passion and zeal.
Live life with exuberance, you know how!