As Beaumont the Sheepadoodle and I were walking along the river yesterday, a thought flowed through my mind as gently as the river passing under the bridge. “What does, ‘act your age’ really mean?”
Trusty Dr. Google has many variations of meaning for it, but all of them basically come down to the adage to stop acting like a child, grow up and mature. Or, as this one says, “behave in a manner appropriate to someone of one’s age and not to someone much younger. “Act your age” is not advice to behave like an adolescent”
There are some attributes of adolescence I’d really like to retain. Like wide-eyed wonder, being willing to ‘act’ silly without worrying about what others are thinking, finding the small things in life hilarious, being entranced by a bug crawling along a leaf…
Does that mean when I’m dancing like no one is watching or laughing at Beaumont trying to catch the water spraying from the hose (Hmmm… I could add, ‘running through a hose’ to my list of adolescent attributes worth repeating throughout life), I need to stop behaving like a child, put childish things aside and ‘get with the program’ so that I act in a appropriate matter to what some unknown ‘they’ says is how I should act at my age?
I’d rather dive into wonder and awe, I’d rather fill my days with wild-abandon and gleeful, giddy dancing than conform to ‘their’ rules about how I should or should not be in this world.
Ultimately, I don’t want to act any particular age. I’d rather just be me. Or, as my wise friend Iwona wrote in her comment yesterday, “There is so much more I need to explore, to experience, to learn. And these all come with age as what came before helps me to better understand and accept what comes tomorrow. I am ME, I love the age I am whatever it may be. I accept ME for who I am, what I represent, what I have accomplished, and my failures that showed me there is a better way.”
In an email from my dear friend, June Read, another wise woman, she wrote words that resonate deeply within me “I choose to be relevant”. Oh yes please! Let us all be relevant to our own, unique, concept of what it means to live this life on fire with the desire to ‘be relevant’. For me, that means ensuring I continue to learn, find value in all things, appreciate everything life has to offer, the good, bad and ugly, grow through adversity, cherish the ‘easy’, and always contribute in whatever I can, as I continuously do what I can to make the world a better place in my own field of influence.
Leigh, who turns 70 in a few weeks, wrote these truth-filled words in her comment, “At the same time, as many say, I can’t quite take in how old I am and am often surprised when I see that old face and the grey hair in the mirror because I feel the same person in some ways :-)”
Ain’t that the truth?
Yet, at the same time, despite or even more, because of the lines and crinkles, the spots and sagging flesh and sometimes aching bones, I have learned to respect, accept and LOVE this body of mine. It is the vehicle that carries me through each day. It is the vessel that holds my many organs, that helps me stand tall (ok, as tall as 5’2″ can be). It moves me, it gives me touch and smell and sight and hearing and senses when I’m mad, sad or glad. It is my constant, ever-present companion with and within every breath I take and every breath I let go of. It is as much a part of my life as the essential nature of breathing keeping me alive, moment by moment. I can’t live without the constant beating of my heart, the rich flow of blood that fills my arteries and veins, feeding my cells with nutrients, energy and ideas through everything I do and every thought I think.
I am my body. My body is me.
So, if I’m to act my age, let everything I do, everything I say, create, become, share, be a heartful expression of ME without the number of years on this planet acting as the determination of how I am or how I should be.
I’d love to hear your thoughts — and if you’re so inclined, hop on over to my FB and IG pages where there are some AMAZING comments on the subject too from so many wonderful voices.
“I choose to be relevant.” These words penned by your friend, June Read, resonated loud and clear as they penetrated into the inner sanctum of my psyche. She is so on point. It is I, ME, who chooses to be who I am, to be relevant in the context of my thoughts, my actions as they relate to others. Age plays a very important role for with age comes experience to be a better being, to know how to be relevant in the greater scheme of this place we call the universe.
Oh, if only we could find a corner in this universe to chat with unrestrained voices about what is aging, the relevance of aging, accompanied by vino, fine cheeses and and fresh Country breads, fruits. Aging is a journey that I embrace, so glad others are willing to do so with no guilt strings attached.
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Oh my goodness! That corner sounds so incredibly inviting — I’ll be right there! ❤
What a fabulous conversation you have started Louise.
I am my body. My body is me. This may be one of the most difficult to accept as we’ve been programmed our entire lives to fit a certain mould but one I’m leaning into.
Acting my age for me is to be or do or feel whatever that happens to be in the moment.
Thank you for all the wonderful conversations.
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Thank you Margaret!!! And I love how you frame it as such an enlivening and personal journey — and you are so right! The challenge is, as a society, we share so much conditioning about the need to conform and fit that mould!
I’m leaning in with you my friend — lovely to ‘see’ you! ❤
My body thinks it is oldish, my brain thinks it is youngish in truth I am somewhere in between
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JoAnne – you are so beautifully real. Thank you. ❤
Actually, there are many things that indicate to me that death is lurking around each corner. One is that more people my age are kicking the bucket. Though many people from high school died young. And family died young. Now it is obvious that i am running out of time. And past the expiration date for other things.
With all the things that could cause me to give up, there are also things to be grateful for. It eases the struggle. And there is the “child at heart” that can easily turn to love and awe.
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Isn’t that so much of life Nance? With all the things that could cause one to give up — there is also so much for which to be grateful and awestruck and full of wonder. Hugs