Recently, I read an article that argues about 40 is the new 20. It introduces a new term: perennial. “Perennials are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, and are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded risk takers.” It also gives some examples of women who are over 40 but still look fabulous and full of energy. Like many other articles I read, this one is ultimately promoting the many benefits of fitness and wellness.
10 years ago, health and wellness were rarely being mentioned in the trendy world. Back then, it was all about being thin and looking great. Many girls wanted to look like those skinny models. They tried so hard to lose weight in a fast way, even when it meant eating one piece of cheese a day. And the skin care products from some big international brands such as Olay and L’Oreal were so popular because they could “renew your skin cells and make you look young and great”, as its commercial proclaimed.
However, after many women (and some men) sacrificed their meals for beauty and spending much money for the outward renewed youthful look, today, people realised that health is much important than just a gorgeous look. We have started to approach beauty from a holistic perspective— wellness, which means a healthy life style. Wellness the world is talking about today, mainly includes healthy eating and exercising. It has become the new trend. We’ve come to the realisation that it’s not wise to depend on skipping meals or buying expensive skin care products to have a nice shape and glowing skin, for it’s not healthy nor sustainable. We started to pay attention to what we eat. We ban fast food. We limit the intake of sugar in our diet. We put collagen powder and coconut oil into the green smoothies we made for breakfast… And we do hot Yoga, Pilates or other exercises like never before. We even take time to meditate among our busy schedules. All these efforts are for fulfilling the new reality we try to create: 40 is the new 20. But, is it really?
This article made me think, even if we admit 40 is the new 20, how much of the reality of life would change? We might gain a good health, look wonderful, stay open-minded and even dare to try a few new things at 40, but truth be told, our 40 will soon be GONE. Then what? 50 is new 30? 60 is the new 40? 70 is the new… Eventually, we will all get to the one same place. Get to the point of being old and fragile in our physical conditions. Get to the point of death. Even our endless effort in pursuing wellness can not save us.
I totally get it. We all want to live long and full and beautifully. And I have to say that the trend of wellness today has been a wonderful progress from the “starving beauty” years ago. But, is it really all that we want? Is it truly enough for living a Full Life?
What about the “inner life”— our spirit and soul, which food can’t nourish nor exercises can’t strengthen? What about, the life after death? Some might think it’s too far to think about. We are still young. But, isn’t the progress we’ve made in our culture has been thinking a few steps ahead and seeing beyond the instant, unsustainable beauty, and replacing it for wellness and health? Many people have adopted the idea that the lasting beauty doesn’t just come from the outward looking, but comes from within, from taking well care oneself. That’s great! But, why can’t we think even further? Can we think beyond the short life we are living now, and think about eternality or heaven?
We love life. We want to live well. That’s why we try so hard to pursue wellness so that we might look like 20 when reaching 40. But I believe in the One who once said this :
“I am the way and the truth and the life.”(John 4:6)
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”( John 10:10)
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.”(John 5:24)
It was Jesus, the living God who said this. So dear friends, why don’t you come to Him first for that eternal life, then you may work on your wellness in this life, for a bigger purpose? 🙂