I’m sure the question in the title seems somewhat simplistic to you. “Really, how old are you?” when asked in normal conversation is easy for most of us. We simply respond with the number of whole years since our birth. For example, if you were born on June 29, 1946, then as of this date (March 11, 2010), you are sixty-three years old. Whereas, if you were born on January 29, 1946, then you would say you are sixty-four years old. Of course you could be more exact by adding part of a year or listing your age in days. But, normally when we are asked to give our age, we respond in whole years since our birth. That’s officially know as chronological age.
An inconvenient fact about the number we give as our chronological age is that we can’t do a thing about it. It never changes from being the time measured from birth, but yet it always changes while we are living. :-)
I read recently that there are other numbers we could give when someone asks how old we are. We could tell the person our physiological age. This is a person’s age as estimated by his or her body’s health and probable life expectancy. Our physiological age is often less than our chronological age when we are in good shape and living a healthy life style. There are many people who are sixty years old and have physiological ages of forty years or less; there are also many who are forty years old and have physiological ages of sixty-plus years.
Emotional age is another measure we sometimes use in reference to our emotional maturity. It can change a lot over a lifetime. Older adults can act like children and some adults can act like they are fixed in a certain state of life. For example, an adult might be emotionally fixed in adolescence when comes to her/his sexuality.
What about that controversial measure known as the mental age? This age usually involves a comparison of a person’s performance on a comprehensive test with her/his chronological age. The age is often considered controversial because it is used to determine the intelligence quotient or IQ. Most people have an average IQ (85 – 130) and from my experience, in general, a person’s mental age is seldom referred to.
I have also heard of spiritual age. It has nothing to do with any of the other ages mentioned before. Apparently, it is an age that is very subjective and reflects how spiritually comfortable a person is. Over my lifetime I have observed a change in my spiritual age. I can’t give you my spiritual age number, but I have had various levels of “spiritual comfortableness.” But, what is my current spiritual age? I have no idea!
So, how old am I? Well, I don’t know my physiological age, but I think (or wish;-) it is less than my chronological age. Over the years, I have had it determined by some non-scientific programs and each time my physiological age was less than my chronological age. Yea! :-)
I think my emotional age is appropriate, my mental age is normal and my spiritual age is comfortable. This leads me to the only age I can give with any reasonable amount of accuracy – my chronological age. I am my first example in the first paragraph of this post. By referring to that paragraph, you now know within a day how old I am.
Well, on Earth, I’m 63 years old as I write this post. But, if I want to give a lesser number, then I could choose my age in terms of Martian years which is 33.8 years old. For a much larger number, I could choose my age in terms of years on Mercury – 264.3 years.
Of course age is only one of the measures we use regularly. Another measure many of us consider to be important is weight. On Earth, I weight about 175 pounds. Interestingly, on Mars and Mercury I would weigh about the same and considerably less – on Mars, 65.9 pounds, and on Mercury, 66.1 pounds. How’s that for losing weight? :-)
If you are interested in determining your own age, weight and/or learning more about why the differences exist on different planets, then please click here.
Really, how old am I? I don’t know, I’m confused. :-)