Age Matters. So does Gratitude!

I love rituals.. Ritual activates my gratitude muscles.

This morning, while lying in the bath (one of my favourite morning rituals) I was reflecting on gratitude, and how I have gotten out of the habit of writing my gratitude list every day.

I smiled and shook my head in loving consternation at my humanness – it can be so easy to forget to do the things I know are healthy, healing and nurturing.

As I looked around to see if I’d remembered to put my journal on the little stool beside my bathtub, (and realized I hadn’t) I decided the time to act was now.

No pen. No papaer. Easy peasy. I always have my phone on the counter beside the tub — it controls my music.

Why not download a gratitude app?

Over the weekend I’d been researching gratitude and come across several apps during my search. One that looked interesting and got good reviews is, Gratitude.

Being a ‘when I have an idea I like to get to it!’ kind of gal, I picked up my phone (careful not to drop it in the sudsy water) and checked out the App Store.

Sure enough, Gratitude is the first app to appear in the long list. I did a quick peruse of other apps and decided I’d give it a try.

And so, while I soaked in the warm soothing waters of the bath, I created my first Gratitude List on my phone. In the process, I smiled. And laughed at myself. I mean really Louise – I’m grateful for morning poops? Well that’s not very sophisticated now is it? I let it stand. Some mornings, I am just that – grateful.

The app also has a section for building a vision board.

I checked it out.

And that’s where I came up against the big, bad, ugly, feelings of symbolic annihilation.

The Vision Board section allows you to post photos for different areas of your life that reflect what you are seeking to manifest.

Problem is, of the many, many, many photos for each section — Family, Friends, Health, Travel… etc….. there are relatively few, and I mean few, photos that I can relate to.

As an example, in the ‘success’ section I found a handful of photos out of many, many, many, that depicted an older adult — and they were all the same 3 different men, all in business attire, all white. (add some racial disparity to the mix too!)

I wasn’t deterred – the app does allow you to pull photos from your own phone — and I have lots of those I can include.

But what struck me was how subtle ageism can be – even when the app builders were trying to build an app that would allow people to strengthen their gratitude muscles, they (I’m hoping unintentionally) practiced symbolic annihilation (one of the challenges THIRD ACTion Film Festival is combatting through its amazing line-up of films and events – full disclosure, I sit on their board)..

See, ageism is subtle. I probably would not have noticed it if I hadn’t been scrolling through their photos before realizing I could add my own! It wasn’t until I realized I’d been scrolling and scrolling before finding one or two that fit my ‘mindspace’ that I realized what the issue was.

I’d say –Hey! Anyone want to build an app just for older people? but… that would actually defeat the purpose of this journey into how to age with grace and be grateful for it all.

Because a separate app, just for baby boomers for example, would actually be saying, we’re special and separate from all of you. And we want to keep ourselves that way ’cause you don’t understand!

At least I think that’s what it would say — please share your thoughts! I’d love to know what it says to you.

In the meantime, I’m adding this one to my list of gratitudes this morning – I am grateful for this app that will send me reminders to practice gratitude, and that reminds me, to not think of myself as invisible and powerless. To not sit back and allow synbolic annihilation to erase my presence because I tell myself, there’s nothing I can do, it’s just the way it is. I must use my voice, my words, my actions to stay relevant, present and above all, true to myself, doing the things I believe will create better in this world for all.

In other words, I gotta wear my age like a crown of precious jewels! Shining bright for all the world to see… Age matters! So does Gratitude!

Sparkle. Sparkle. Sparkle!

Namaste.

PS – I’m off to my physio appt this morning. If you’d like to listen to the video, please do come back later and I’ll have posted it!

My worth is not measured by a label

I AM many things. A wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend. Artist, writer, poet, story-teller. I love fiercely, care deeply, act with intention. No matter what my role, no matter how I am in this world, none of who I am is diminished by the label, senior citizen.

Sometimes, we wear a label as if it makes a difference to who we are and how we are in this world. A label is not our identity. It is not a reflection of our worth. It simply is what it is, a label of no value to the quality of our life. It’s only value is it works as a road marker to help us see where we are on the road of life.

A label sometimes serves to put us in a box. Sometimes, we call the box our comfort zone. Our familiar ground. Our ‘special place’.

What if there is no box?

What if we LIVE as if there is no box?

What if we choose to view our lives as limitless fields of possibility that greet us every morning with their invitation to run, wild and free, amongst the wildflowers blowing in the winds of change and opportunity, through the trees whose leaves are unfolding and dropping, unfolding and dropped in a continuous circle of renewal?

What if… There is no box!

It’s been an amazing week of fullsome conversation, sharing and for me, a lot of internal exploration, growth and learning.

Thank you. I am so very grateful for each of you. For this beautiful opportunity to keep growing and becoming more of me.

Have a beautiful, sunny-shiney bright kind of weekend!

The ‘Senior’ label is getting old.

We humans love our labels and our groupings.

We have those who fit the label ‘Senior’. We have, young adults, millenials, GenXers – GenYers – GenAnthingGoes.

That last one is a label of my own making.

It feels right for this age I find myself embodying with mind, heart, body and soul – I’m ok with who I am and how I am because I choose to love who I am and how I am becoming completely.

And in that statement, recognize that no matter my age, I am always becoming – more of who I am, less of who I don’t want to be, all of me – beauty and the beast, yin and yang, darkness and light, imperfectly perfect in all my human imperfections – with or without a label.

Year ago, when I was preparing for my first talk at a major conference about how I learned to live with joy and love after an abusive relationship, the organizers, after reading my talk outline said, “Okay. You fit into the “Victim Stories” category.”

No I don’t, I quickly replied. I am not a victim. I am a victor.

That distinction was extremely important to me. The label ‘victim’ is an emotionally charged one that says to me, I am weak. I am beaten. I am the underdog. I DO NOT want to be a victim. I AM NOT a victim. (and yes, I am sure there is a whole lot of unconscious bias going on in my head around that word!)

To be a victor is, for me, empowering. I can handle carrying that label. It feels expansive. Empowered. Strong.

Just as being labelled a baby-boomer feels open-ended. It says, I am of the generation who marched for women’s rights and burned bras. Who stood up to authority to ensure, ‘anything goes’ became a reality for gays and lesbians and so much more. It is full of limitless possibilities and as long as my ‘anything goes’ creates better in the world, is fair, kind and does no harm, then my anything goes is powerful!

The label ‘senior’ on the other hand… that is an emotionally charged one for me too. I don’t think I was ever a ‘junior’ human so why am I suddenly a ‘senior’ one?

It’s a challenging realization for me – perhaps my unconscious biases are preventing me from living into the possibilities of ‘seniordom’ whatever those possibilities are.

Or, perhaps, my resistance to living into the label ‘senior’ is actually my rebellion against doing ‘the safe thing/right thing/expected thing’.

I’m not sure.

What I am sure about is, I do not want to live up to nor down to an arbitrarily applied label of ‘their’ construction (whoever ‘they’ are.)

I don’t want to live ‘the label’. I want to live my life.

I want to live free to be, to express, to become all of me – consciously aware that my becoming is an evolutionary process full of possibilities.

Labels are handy for prescription drugs and supermarket shelves.

For we humans… labels can act as limitations to how deep, wide, wild and free we live our lives. And, until we confront the unconscious or conscious labels we carry, collectively or singularly, we will not see beyond the limts of that label all the beauty, mystery, magic and wonder life has to offer.

So here’s to the GenAnythingGoes – no matter your age!

Episode 18

On Being Okay with What Is.

If this is your one life to live, what would you do differently today?

Just so you know, that was not the opening line I had intended to write when I sat down to create this morning – it is the one that appeared. And, as writing here is all about a continuous journey to learn how to ‘trust the process’, I lwrote it out and am now shifting from what I had intended to write about to exploring the question..

It’s a good question. What would you do differently if you embodied that truth? “This is your one life to live.”

I think at every age, my response would be different.

Off the top of my head, in my teens, I’m pretty certain I’d not have worried so much about trying to fit in and what my peers thought of me and spent more time asking myself if I like the person I’m becoming.

In my 20s, I’d have not moved back to Canada from Europe because of a boy. I’d have been more thoughtful of my next steps and, rather than just let life happen, I’d have spent more time meditating on ‘Who am I and want kind of human being do I want to be. What kind of life do I want to create?”

Yet, here’s the thing. While it’s fun to look back and ponder ‘what would I have done differently’, the fact is, I can’t change the past.

Today, asking myself the question, “What WILL I do differently today?” creates an open slate of opportunities and possibilities, along with a smile on my face!

The smile, because I recognize the trap in the question.

Think about it. To determine what to do differently, I have to be clear on what I’m judging as needing changing or releasing, along with the fact, if they need changing – I haven’t been doing anything about them!

Also, if I’ve got a whole slew of changes I want to enact in my life, every day I continue to do the things that don’t work for me, puts me further and further away from living (and aging) with grace.

Which… just so you know… was not what today’s column was going to be about when I recorded my video this morning!

Which… brings me back to something I’d like to do differently today.

Let it go.

Not worry about the creating of the videos and blog, and instead, allow them to be what I want them to be – my musings and rambling, discourse on aging in which others who feel inspired join in through their comments/feedback/questions or simply watching and reading.

So… while today’s video does not quite align with this post, I’m going to be okay with it’s disconnect.

Why? Because having spent a great deal of my life looking for ‘the connection’ in everything, I am choosing to simply be real, present and okay with what is.

I’m choosing to let it be as it is so that I can be as I am… Pondering the questions of aging, musing about the beauty, the hardships, the changes and the confusion I feel about this thing called, ‘getting older’.

Thanks for joining me. Your comments, likes, thoughts and ideas make a world of difference!

Much gratitude.

The Aging Tower of Power

I spent some time on the weekend journalling about the question I want to explore this week as part of this series, Dare Boldly: No matter your age.

The question for this week is: What does it mean to age with grace?

In my journal, I wrote, “I wish aging…” and then challenged myself to write all I ‘wished’ about aging.

Some of my wishes were self-explanatory; I wish aging didn’t show so much on my face and I wish aging didn’t come with so much baggage and confusion.

One of the wishes I wrote made me laugh, (and wish I hadn’t written it if only because it was soooo ridiculous! 🙂 ). I wish aging wasn’t such a felt experience.

What on earth do I mean by that?

Well… I’m still wondering.

Fact is, aging is a felt experience. I feel it in my body. I feel it in my emotions. I feel it in my thoughts.

Wishing I didn’t ‘feel’ it is like the quote my father used to trot out whenever I’d say something like, “I wish I could go to Paris with my friends this weekend,” when I had a summer job, couldn’t get the time off and was saving for a new something or other. “If wishes were horses,” my father would say, “beggars would ride.”

Fact is, wishing anything to be anything than what it is, or who it is, or how it is, doesn’t change what it is or who it is or how it is.

Tower of Power (Choices Seminars)

In Choices, a self-development program I coached in for over a decade until COVID caused its Canadian demise, they teach the Tower of Power. (I recommend you not google ‘Tower of Power’. You’ll come up with an R&B band and reference to a sexual position. I was not prepared to click on the second reference lest my Inbox become inundated with unwanted emails!)

In the Choices vernacular, the Tower of Power contains four statements. As you progress through each, you either choose to continue or, acknowledge you have no energy around making that wish into reality.

For example. I wish I could lose weight. I want to lose weight. I can lose weight. I WILL lose weight.

As you claim your position within each statement, you activate your will to fulfill on your wish – or not. For me, the ‘lose weight’ has evolved into, “I WILL feed my body healthy foods and activities.”

In the case of my statement, “I wish aging wasn’t a felt experience, I laughed so hard I almost had one of those little piddly accidents that sometimes happen with aging – and if you don’t know what I am referencing, lucky you! 🙂

See, when I encounter such a silly (not to mention futile thought – and yes, I know both those labels are judgments), I really do have to give my head a shake.

Life is a felt experience. Aging is as integral to living as breathing. How can it not be felt?

Once I got over my amusement, I got serious about my Tower of Power and how I could put it to work for me to move me into a more constructive, positive and inspiring framework.

Here is what I came up with using I wish, I want, I can, I will as my guidance:

I wish aging was a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

I want aging to be a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

I can make aging a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

I WILL make aging a conversation full of love, celebration, and acceptance of all its gifts.

That feels better. Especially as I breathe into the power of my will to create just such a conversation, here.

And in that power, I know I have the will to turn up here, in all my truth, vulnerability, scars, bruises, confusion… and hope, as we continue to grow deeper into this conversation, one word, one step, one idea, one day at a time.

Namaste

Love yourself. Love your fear. Love your beauty. Love your courage..

Yesterday, at a media training workshop I was giving, I told the group that, though I’ve probably done 100s of TV interviews, particularly when I was working in the homeless-serving sector, I seldom looked at any of them.

Interesting.

What was I afraid of?

Well… first. I know the critter in my head. And, I know how self-judgemental he (me) can be. I didn’t want to subject myself to his tyranny of abuse and vitriol about how I move my facial muscles too much. I’m too animated. Too… this or that. Or… Not enough this or that… How I could have said this… better, more clearly, more emphatically. How I missed this opportunity, or that, to really get my point across… Yada. Yada. Yada.

What a missed opportunity!

Being able to learn from my own mistakes. Being able to watch myself in the environment where I was working to determine my strengths, areas needing improvement, and places I could strengthen my delivery, I simply refused to go. To accept the gift. I was too ‘vain’, self-conscious, and insecure to use those interviews to my advantage.

And here’s the thing. If I am to fall in love with myself, all of me, then I have to be willing to SEE all of me. To experience all of me. To know all of me. AND – To be KIND to all of me.

When I think about those missed opportunities to grow and learn from my own experience, the kindest thing I can do for myself today is, be kind in my reflections.

They are not about judging myself. My reflections are about seeing myself through the lens of ‘Oh my. How fascinating.’ and then, doing the thing I fear. Which in this case would be watching myself on camera — without the voice of judgment inspecting all I’m not doing right, or counting the wrinkles or booming out its condemnations and drowning out the voice of kindness that says, “You are brave Louise to do this. Let’s watch and see what you’ve done well here and see if there are places we can work together to improve your delivery.”

Which brings me back to these videos. I don’t like watching myself on camera — and here I am, every morning, putting myself in a position I fear.

Hmmmm…. Maybe, instead of looking for my perceived missteps, I need to celebrate the fact I’ve chosen to step into this arena and be present.

Maybe, I need to say to myself, “Louise, you’re doing okay. You are definitely learning as you grow into this process and you are giving your best. Your best is good enough.”

Because, a) I can’t do better than my best in this moment and b) I am doing this to learn — and part of that learning is to step into my fear and love myself in my fear and my courage.

Do you get what I’m saying?

Loving ourselves requires a willingness to embrace the light, darkness and shadows of ourselves.

It invites us to see more than our flaws. It invites us to witness and celebrate our successes, our courage, our willingness to unapologetically claim centre stage in our own lives.

If I am to age grace, if I am to claim all that I am as worthy, then I must choose to Love all of me for my courage to do just that.

Aging with grace isn’t about giving in. It’s about leaning deeply into the mystery, magic and wonder of this thing called life. This thing that changes us and all the world around us, every single moment we are alive.

I want to age with grace because for me, grace is a ‘criteria; word that extolls the beauty and majesty of being alive without fear pushing me into hiding or avoiding loving me, all of me, exactly as I am.

Namaste

In The Warp and Weft of Life

Yesterday, I shared a metaphor about how to me, life is a runway – I have more behind me than in front of me.

Others shared their view of life as a highway.

I think it is the beauty of this space in life where every perspective has value. There is no one metaphor for life. It is a journey and as so many people chimed in and said, it’s about quality and living each moment we are here to its fullest.

Curious, I went in search of other metaphors for life and found these on VeryWellMind, along with some wise counsel on the importance of occasionally checking our metaphors for life to ensure they are not limiting. Where once they worked, maybe today they don’t.

Some examples of metaphors for life from VeryWellMind include:

"Life is a song; we each get to write our own lyrics."
"Life is a puzzle; you can only see the picture when you put all the pieces together."
"Life is a garden; with care and love you can cultivate beautiful flowers."
"Life is a classroom; you'll always be learning new things."

Metaphors are important. They ignite the imagination, give us a visual context that can open us up to new perspectives by comparing a figurative example to open us up to seeing a situation, person, thing from a creative/different viewpoint. s

The metaphor I used yesterday of the runway was triggered by a conversation at the board retreat for THIRD ACTion Film Fest which I attended on Saturday. (If you haven’t checked THIRD ACTion out – DO! – though I’m sorry if you’re not in Canada you won’t be able to view any of the films online.)

In the retreat, we were talking about ageism. A couple of my fellow board members said they’d never experienced ageism.

I shared the story of how, when I was looking to leave the workforce in 2019, the board had asked if I would stay on. I told them that in good conscience, I could only commit to a maximum two-year timeline. Their response was, “We need more runway.”

That phrasing has sat with me for a long time. I’ve been curious about it — when I gave a two-year timeline I was acutely aware that at almost 66 I wasn’t sure if I had the energy and drive to continue to hold such a high-pressure, demanding role. Especially as the role of an Executive Director of a not-for-profit is seldom 9 to 5.

I had other things I wanted to do in my life and, as so many people commented yesterday, Quality counts.

Quality time with my beloved, my family, quality time doing the things I love, like writing, painting, walking, teaching art-journalling, and participating in art shows – are all very important to me and my mental health. Not to mention my overall sense of well-being, feeling balanced, and embodied in this present moment.

All of which, inspired me to consider what metaphor best describes my life today.

Life is like a giant loom upon which I weave, every day, a beautiful tapestry that is the living picture of my life.

Of course, as I am a wordsmith and love to dive deep into what stirs my spirit into soaring, I had to write more about my tapestry…

My tapestry is made of up beautiful, colourful ribbons. Each ribbon brings its own value, tone, hue,depth, width, and sense of being to the warp and weave. Some ribbons are woven all the way through, some ended their journey into the tapestry long ago, and some I’m just discovering as i continue to load my loom with vibrant hues of life unfolding in all its mystery, majesty and wonder.

How fast I weave is up to me. Life itself will determine when my tapestry is done. All life asks of me is to keep weaving as much joy, laughter, beauty, peace, harmony and Love into the warp and weft of my life, every day.

Do you have a metaphor for your life?

If you do, I hope you feel this is a safe and courageous space to share it.

Namaste

Episode 13: Dare Boldly: No Matter Your Age – Metaphors for life

I was @LauraHickli ‘s music video mom!

I think the title of this post could be a movie title!

Fact is, yesterday, to support @LauraHickli and the release of her newest song/music video, yesterday I got to play her mother.

It was energizing and exhausting. Invigorating and difficult.

Movie-making involves a lot of repetition.

One tiny moment in a scene played over, again and again, wide lens, close-up lens, fast speed, slow motion. Every minute detail of one movement filmed to capture that ‘beauty shot’, to tell a compelling story that both awakens the mind and touches the heart.

In movie making, every detail counts.

Yesterday, the years on my face, the wrinkly skin on my hands, the arthritic knob on my knuckle – they all played a role in the video.

And man. Was I uncomfortable.

I have never been enamoured with watching myself on screen.

Watching myself in close-up on screen…

Wow. That’s an even bigger leap of faith and, leap into self-love.

Stilling that chattering voice in my head, you know, the one who says, “Gawd you look old. Look at your double chin. Shouldn’t you have lost that twenty pounds before agreeing to do this.And, seriously, you look soooooo old….”

Yeah. That voice.

Well, when the film is up close and personal, that voice goes into its relentless hyper-active self-debasing vitriolic screeching with great enthusiasm!

I am remembering to breathe.

To ground myself in self-love.

To remind myself that falling in love with myself means acceptance of all of me, as I am, not as how I wished I was, once upon a time, when I was younger, or prettier, or slimmer, or a whole swathe of ‘things’ I am not now.

I think that’s one of the big lessons I’m learning from these conversations and from yesterday – aging and wishing it was something, other than what it is, are not comfortable life partners.

To age with grace, I must become comfortable with reality.

And as I write that last sentence I smile and laugh.

Someone once asked me why I don’t paint scenery or people or things as they truly appear in life. My response… I don’t do reality.

Time to face reality with a smile, a warm welcome and, a word of two of gratitude for what it has provided me in my life — the ability to breathe freely without fearing every breath I take will be my last.

Which also makes me smile.

Because, life, particularly as I come closer to my 70s, is feeling like a change of seasons. As summer’s end fast approaches, I cherish the still warm nights, the blossoms still left on the stems, the leaves not turned golden, the geese not yet flying south.

I cherish all these things deeply because they are reminders of summer I do not want to end. They are a foretelling of winter as I become exquisitely aware of autumn’s approach.

I want to cling to summer’s beauty, yet know that there are autumn vistas that will take my breath away in the riotuous colours of leaves falling and flowers shedding their dewy blossoms.

Like the sun’s rays reaching closer to the southern hemisphere as earth moves in its eternal orbit in the sky, I want to reach across time and capture all of nature’s beauty, old and new, in my arms and hold it tight as if in doing so, I can forestall time, and the relentless reality of its passing days.

It’s time to let go of wishing I could hold onto ‘what was’ and breathe deeply into the promise of all the beauty still to come in living this life with my heart and mind wide-open to the limitless possibilities of my life – today.

When I stop looking back at ‘how I looked’ compared to how I appear now, the wrinkles fade and I no longer feel the need to measure my age in the lines written on my face or even the calendar pages turned.

I no longer feel compelled to hide behind the memories of all I’ve done, nor do I feel the need to ‘wish’ I could do what I used to do with the same vigor or ease.

In this space of summer gracefully easing into autumn’s glory, I feel myself becoming, each beat of my heart, each moment that takes my breath away, each glorious day of riotuous colour and turning leaf.

In this space, I become… Love.

In this space, I am… In Love with me, my life and everyone in it. It is here I live within the quiet joy of being part of this life, right now, deeply embodied within this moment unfolding as it becomes the measure of my day.

The Beauty In Pain

Aging isn’t all sweetness and laughter. As we move from 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 and on, the changes in our body become more noticeable, and in some cases, more defining of who we are or how we live our days.

Some days, we stand in front of the mirror and pull back our skin from the corners of our eyes, our mouth,, our cheekbones and wonder… Dare I? Do I need to? Is it worth it? Am I ok the way I am?

And everyday, we see a new tiny fragment of a line. Feel a new tiny little pain. Will it grow bigger we wonder?

I remember, probably around my middle 50s, waking up one morning and realizing that the pillow crease embedded on the side of my right eye (the side I sleep on) was not going to vanish as the day moved on.

It was humbling. Scary. Unnerving.

It was also a relief.

If it’s not going away, I’d best learn to accept it. Maybe even fall in love with it. Because, to love ALL of me, I must love everything about me. Including those crinkles at the edges of my eyes that don’t disappear in the morning.

Life (which fundamentally is the aging process) is a process full of joy, laughter, love and pain as well. Exploring for and uncovering the beauty in pain, letting the essential nature of its presence be revealed in the exquisiteness of all we are becoming, is an act of courage, hope and strength mixed up with a bit of defiance too!

Ultimately, aging is about expanding into loving all of yourself. ALL of yourself. The parts you celebrate. The strong parts. The falling apart parts. The parts you’d rather not see. The parts that make you want to undress in the dark before crawling into bed. The parts you’d rather your lover didn’t touch.

Expanding into all of yourself is a journey best taken with a whole bunch of laughter and LOVE.

And perhaps, that is the greatest gift of aging. Expanding into all of ourselves, doesn’t leave much room for fixating on the pain of what we’ve experienced to get here, or the how of how we look because how we look loses its luster against the brilliance of loving all of ourselves, however we look, whatever path we took to get to this moment right now.

This week, I hope you join me in exploring the expansiveness of aging and falling in LOVE with ALL of YOURSELF.

Thank you for being on this journey with me. I am so grateful for the stories, wisdom, hope, laughter, you share. I am so grateful to have your company on this path. As I said to a friend yesterday when she asked if I was afraid of aging, “So much of this exploration is about trying to figure out how I FEEL about this thing called aging. I’m not sure what I FEEL. I know I don’t feel scared. Or unhappy. But how do I FEEL? Excited. Curious. Sometimes confused. Sometimes just tired of the whole conversation.”

Which made me laugh.

I’m the one who started this conversation here. And I’m loving it! Wanting to “know the ending first’ is how I read books! 🙂

Life doesn’t work like that. The story’s written one day at a time. And each page turned leads to a new adventure – no matter your age and woven into every page are the joy, laughter, sorrow and pain we’ve experienced along the way.

As long as I’m turning each page and living each day in its joyful fullness, it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been on this journey of my lifetime. What matters most is that I’m on it, loving all of me as I go.

I am so grateful for this day.

Namaste

Day 11 – Week 3 — DAre Boldly: No Matter Your Age

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 –  “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!