Does Age Take Away Permission to Be You?

When I went looking on Dr. Google for a definition of “What does it mean to Act Your Age” I was fascinated to a) lots of reference to it means don’t try to act so young/you’re not. along with b) a reference to it being a ‘cultural assumption’.

As we age, I learned much to my consternation, age gives us permission to do certain age-appropriate things and it also takes away permission to do certain age-inappropriate things.

One of the examples was, it is not appropriate for a 30-year-old to play with Lego. Ha! Tell that to my son-in-love! In fact, when he and my eldest daughter were married, his parents presented them with a house as a wedding gift — it was a Lego box full of pieces that would build their house. The box was accompanied by a lovely speech they shared at the wedding about how he LOVED Lego and he and his mother would play with it for hours.

He still loves Lego and he and his son, play with it for hours.

Does being over 30 take away his permission to do that? I don’t think so!

Which of course led me to thinking about the things I don’t do because I tell myself, “I’m too old.”

Those thoughts were rather daunting. Because they are there. Like, after a rainfall when I’m walking with Beau and I come upon a big puddle of rainwater lying in the middle of the sidewalk, I have this inexplicable desire to jump in it and splash away like a bird washing itself in a birdbath.

Too often I don’t. Well, actually, if there’s no one around I often will. Which makes me realize that (too) often, I take away my permission to do some things because I’m afraid of being judged by others — even strangers!

Well… awareness is the first step of taking action.

As Iwona commented yesterday – Β “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.”

I invite you to examine the things you no longer do that you loved doing in the past and ask yourself, “Is it because I think they’re inappropriate ‘for my age’?”

Of course, there are things our bodies invite us to let go of as we age. I no longer run marathons. I have arthritis in my feet and running hurts. That’s a ‘smart’ decision.

But other things, like splashing in mud puddles, lying in the grass and watching the clouds float by, running through sprinklers….

Watch out world! It’s a no holds barred kind of journey!

Thanks again for joining in the conversation. I so appreciate your presence, insights and light! You make this journey much brighter!

16 thoughts on “Does Age Take Away Permission to Be You?

  1. Elgie,

    I think part of ‘managing our aging’ is our view of how far we are away from the finish line. I think it was Isaac Asimov who was asked what he would do if he found out he only had a year to live. His answer, “I’d type faster”.

    If we think we have a lot of runway, or if we think our runway is short, either way we have to ‘type faster’ … because there are no guarantees. We all have to do what is most important to us and go down the trails, paths, rabbitholes where our dreams and imagination take us.

    Your recent writing project seems rooted in that kind of thinking, so I’ll be cheering you on. Maybe, possibly, you’ve got the beginning of your next book lurking within this??

    Cheers,
    Mark

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely love that quote — except… interestingly enough, as I just responded to Vivanne’s comment — One of the things I’ve learned to really appreciate is my capacity to take more time to savour the moment rather than race through to the next and the next and the next!

      I’m also really curious about this ‘type faster’ idea — which is great fodder for my next video/post — because, along with savouring moments, I also feel I don’t need as many ‘big’ moments/things/happenings to experience all that I want to experience in life — Love. Joy. Companionship. Friendship. Peace. Tranquility. Grace. Inspiration…

      Thanks for the food for thought Mark!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mark AND Louise, no need for me to comment. You’ve both said it all. Really GREAT quote, new to me.
      I agree with Louise: I don’t ‘have to’ as much as I used to. I can even admit: I’m *really* tired now, I must go to bed (and can’t do/finish another ‘must do’ ….)
      And my former ambition to achieve / do so many things has dwindled to nearly nothing. My one ambition nowadays is Not to do harm, To love more, Forgive and Understand more and to be more generous.
      I also have literally no time any longer for stupidity, malignity, and (sorry) boring people….

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  2. Okay girl! I always jump in puddles when I am out walking in the neighbourhood. What is stopping you? It is these little things in my daily life that give me joy. Not to mention the look on my elderly (90% are over 75!) neighbours’ faces when they see me do it.
    Or re-reading some favourite books from childhood or teen years. I have a book of Polish fairytales – think fire-breathing dragons, witches, etc. – which I open to a page and relive moments of sitting by the kitchen wood stove. This wood stove was only source of heat, hot water and cooking surfaces in my early years. Reading by its warmth in the middle of winter is a fave memory.
    Aging gives us that chance to re-live moments that dwell in the nether reaches of our sub-conscious to be triggered by something simple.
    Mark’s insight that “We all have to do what is most important to us and go down the trails, paths, rabbit holes where our dreams and imagination take us ” is part of our aging process. Dreams of what one aspires to, dreams of what might have been IF … oops! May want to be wary of the “what IF”. Sometimes that may not be a good place to reflect upon.
    And a definite yes – a book is lurking somewhere among these conversations.
    A draft title, Conversations with my Friends about Aging – Gracefully! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow! I love that you’re re-reading some favourite childhood/teen books! What a brilliant idea!

      I’m going to have to create an Ideas Spreadsheet and start collecting everyone’s brilliance in one place!

      And cool — re title…. for me it’s The Art of Ageless, Graceful Living — What Life and Friends Taught Me πŸ™‚

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  3. Yes let’s run barefoot in the rain and let the mud squish between our toes
    Or lay on top of a haystack and watch the clouds drift by
    Or stand on a rock in the middle of nowhere and sing my heart out for the world
    Maybe I can no longer run a marathon but there are so many things I can still do and delight in perhaps even more so than when I was young πŸ€—

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alas, it is such a deep social assumption and conditioning JoAnne — and you’re right. It’s wrong. Alas again, we’re human and have this habit of holding onto the wrong things sometimes! πŸ™‚ ❀

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  4. I also LOVE the idea of getting a Lego house as a wedding present! What a glorious idea. And gosh, I think one of the best things for us ‘elderly’ folks having grandies is surely that we can play with their lego…. πŸ™ƒπŸ˜‰ Which is an injustice in my case as I have no grandchildren! πŸ™‚πŸ™Š

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was brilliant Kiki — both the gift and their speech to the bride and groom when they presented it. ❀ I love watching my grandson and son-in-love play with Lego together! — Maybe it's time to go out and buy yourself a box of Lego…. πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, my kids reconnected me to my own ageless heart too! At first I did worry about being judged, and judged myself for jumping in those mud puddles (literally haha). But, as I’ve experienced the joy of being myself in the present moment with them – I’m never going back. Do we really have an age in the present moment? I mean with age comes more knowledge of options, and skills, and limits, but still do those childlike passions we are born with ever change?

    Like

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