Did you wake up feeling ancient and creaky this morning? Did you shuffle over to the sink to brush your teeth, glance in the mirror, and startle at the sight of those creepy signs of aging: the untamable gray hairs, the telltale lines and wrinkles?
Don't worry: It turns out you're probably way younger than you think you are! A new Census Bureau study has found that nearly three times as many Americans are living to the age of 90 and beyond as they did just three decades ago. And those numbers are expected to continue to rise dramatically: By the middle of this century, experts predict, the ranks of the oldest of the old will swell from 1.9 million to ... around 8.7 million. That's a lot of mega-oldsters!
And you know what? This is fantastic news not just for our long-term prospects but for our immediate egos. Because if we're looking at lifespans of 90 or even 100, well, that means if you're in your early 40s, you still have way more than half your life left.
Meanwhile, those of us in our 30s are practically teenagers! And even if you don't quite feel like celebrating in typical teenage style -- whatever those actual kids do to celebrate good news these days -- you can at least use awareness of your likely longer lifespan as an inspiration to do things today that you might have been thinking you'd missed the boat on: Learn a new skill or take on a new hobby, change careers, start a new relationship, or, heck, fully fund your retirement fund (you're clearly going to need it).
Because life is short, sure, but it's longer than we might have realized. There's still time to enjoy every bit of it. They say you're never too old to start something new. Who knows whether that's true? But it sound like it's a better bet than ever that you're not too old yet!
Are there things you'd like to tackle before you reach the ripe old age of 90?
Image via schnaars/Flickr