"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."
- Samuel Ullman
Stop Acting Your Age
Our culture has an obsession with age. We keep track of the number of years we have lived with zeal, and use it as an important definer of our identities. I've heard all kinds of ridiculous comments about age, ranging from "Oh, I'm in my 40's now, I can't _____________ (fill in the blank)" or "I'm 25 and I still haven't met the wo/man of my dreams!". As if these numbers are cut-off lines, that we can't fall in love or go bungee jumping after a certain age. We're all guilty of these types of generalizations (about ourselves and others); we make major decisions based on how many the number of times we've blown out the candles on a cake. We decide not to go back to school because we think we're too old, we rush into getting married (maybe to the wrong person) because we're scared to wait a few years, we even dress a certain way based on the date on our birth certificate. (A friend of mine recently hesitated to buy a "cool" dress simply because she is now a 30-year-old mother. As if she is any different as a person than she was when she was 29 and childless!)
Unfortunately, when we let our age dictate our lives we miss out on a lot of opportunities and do things even when our heart isn't in it. All for a preconception that is completely dependant on our culture and time in history. For example, a woman of 18 only 100 years ago was considered an old maid, a poor soul likely doomed to a life of loneliness and poverty. Whether or not you think you have any biases regarding age, it might be a good idea to question your beliefs. Do you let age sway your decisions and actions? Do you let society's "rules" about age dictate your life? Maybe it's time to stop acting your age, and start acting the way you feel.
Oh, and if you feel old, maybe you should work on your mind-set!
by T.L. Scribe