Age is relative as they say. Why am I writing about age? Honestly, I’m not sure but I was thinking about the few years of my life when I worked at a retirement home in North Carolina. I was the activity director for the independent residents there and it was a blast.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not revealing my age here but in my mind I have never thought much about it being more than a number. We all have an age but did you grow up hearing “why don’t you act your age”? I did, but mostly not directed at me because I usually acted more grown up.
Life has a way of sneaking up on you and when I look at photos of the past and now, wow, everyone sure looks older (not intended for anyone reading this, ha ha ha). But seriously we see others age around us and all of a sudden a glance in the mirror may reveal a few lines, gray hair, or loss thereof.
It’s all good in my opinion. It’s better than the alternative is what I used to hear frequently said around the retirement home I worked in and I found myself saying that as well. It was interesting to look around and you could pick out those who are waiting to “go” and those who are living life regardless of age.
I can still remember when I turned 30 (a few years ago) like it was yesterday. I didn’t like being 29 for some reason. It always felt like I was on a precipice waiting for something. However, the life lessons I have learned are priceless.
In our world we make such a big deal of a number. My mom’s side of the family has many who lived well into their 90’s and 100’s. I find that so wonderful. My great Aunt Hettie who I’ve mentioned before was in her mid-90’s when she passed. She worked into her late 80’s as a tailor in a men’s clothing store. Fabulous. I think they “encouraged” her to retire finally but I saw a decline when she stopped working.
We all need to be needed and wanted. And I don’t even like the word retire so much. I heard one older friend say it like this, re-tire. Put on a new set of tires and get back on the road. Love that don’t you? I don’t see myself being fully retired and that may well be because I don’t think about age.
My Mom is turning 90 in a couple of months - what an achievement that is. Life is meant to be lived folks. Live your life; enjoy your life; share your life and lessons with those around you willing to listen.
Back to my story about working with seniors now. It truly was a blast. The ones who embraced life truly lived it to the fullest. We took trips around the state, went out to dinner, theatre, concerts and the gym.
Don’t embrace the old adage of acting your age any longer. Besides, what does it look like to act 5 years old, 15 years old, 25 years old or 95 years old? Who knows, who cares. Stop caring what someone may think. Wear your hair the way you want not how you think someone your ‘age’ may wear it.
Kick up your heels and live….