Growing Older: Reader Essay by Ivars Vancers

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

W2017_GrowingOlderIvarsVancers_Inline300 As I get older, my least favorite phrase is, “For your age.” “You look good for your age.” What does that really mean? Do I look good for a 90-year-old when I’m only 73 or do I not look that good compared to a 60-year-old?

Mark Twain said that a person has to develop bad habits while they are growing up so they can eliminate them as they grow older. I’m not sure these are bad habits, but I’ve had to give up softball, racquetball, and serious bike riding. I haven’t given up skiing yet, but I haven’t skied for six years now. Do I miss these sports that kept me active, alive, stiff, sore, and socially engaged? Yes. But that is predictable as we age and look for new, different activities, both mental and physical.

Happiness at any age can be defined by the formula Reality divided by Expectations. As one wag put it, life is like a roll of toilet paper: The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.

So, the thought is to always keep moving and look good—for your age.

- Ivars Vancers (B.E.E. ’67), Chandler, Arizona

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