Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
I was running into a former coach of our son's soccer team and she was complaining, as was I, about the unreasonable work load we working parents have to keep up with. She compared herself to her brother, who is not in a relationship, and who has much more time on his hands. She said that because of it, he looks so much younger than she does.
As she was speaking, I remembered the demographic factoid that the life expectancy for married men is in fact higher than that for unmarried ones. So I replied to her that there is "good" stress and then there is "bad" stress. With the good stress, you might look old when the wind is blowing in your face, but the moment you recover, you look magically 10 years younger. Whereas if there is "bad" stress, it takes a while to recover from it.
This concept seemed to make sense to her and we both look forward to the day the going would get easier again. It is a spiritual insight really. No matter how hard the work might be, when purpose, passion and soul-mission overlap, the sparkle in your eyes will tell you that you are on the right path. Do the thing you are born to do no matter what the outcome might be. Take a look around. It is easy to spot someone who is on a soul-mission and someone who is merely running after the perceived gold shining on the horizon. Take the passion test today.