"Middle age is a cultural fiction -- a construct that emerged in the last 150 years through a confluence of factors, including industrialization, modern medicine, government bureaucracy and, of course, media and advertising."

That's the takeaway from the new book "In Our Prime: The Invention of Middle Age," a cultural history of aging by New York Times culture reporter Patricia Cohen.

The article about the book, listing the "Seven Myths About Middle Age" is definitely worth reading.

Over the years, I have listened to the most absurd things from men and women in middle age about these myths, especially the ones about sexual desire diminishing, about the trials and tribulations of menopause, and about physical deterioration.

My one word answer to those ideas: Nonsense!

You can find many articles HERE and HERE on the FPL blog describing the many illusions human beings subscribe to about the so-called "aging process."

It's kind of a no-brainer, folks. If you would just think about it - no small feat, I realize, in a frenzied, fear-driven routine that doesn't allow time for reflection - if life doesn't get better and better with the passage of time, there are only two possibilities: either life inherently sucks, and is some kind of insane purgatory, in which case, we should all just get drunk and forget about it, or... you are creating your reality from a set of distorted, erroneous beliefs which if you set about changing, you could realign yourself with the beauty that is the movement through physical life.

In other words, you could be expressing yourself creatively and sexually in peak fashion, you could be offering wisdom and guidance to the generations behind you, and you could be loving your body as a manifestation of the magnificent soul that you truly are. Or... you could take blood pressure medication, indulge yourself with hormone replacement therapy and cosmetic surgery, pop Viagra and invest in a Geezer Scooter.

It really is your choice.
Here's mine!

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