We in our society are so afraid of time, of age and aging that we try to keep on looking and acting like 20 year-olds, or "twenty-agers" as I like to call them. We act, look and exercise as if we won't (or don't dare) to age. I see so many people, both men and women, that dress young at the high risk of being a bit embarrassing or having eyes rolled at them, all believing that we are only as young as we look!
I do believe that is wrong! I do not believe that our looks has got anything to say about it, but it's an easy way to "measure", and we as a species is very age-judgemental! For me it is an issue as with weight and being skinny; we have an idea of how we "have" to look to fit in this society, even if it means we have a constant fear in our lives. A fear of not fitting in or not meeting criteria for a good life that we all so eagerly pursue on social media with perfect pictures and set ups to make us, or private life, family, meals, training sessions, back bends and hairdos ....... look absolutely perfect! I bet we've all been there creating a setup for a picture and trying to get it "just right"...... even if we KNOW it's actually a lie what it depicts!
I will argue that all this posting is actually making you older! All this time and effort you put into your "look, I am perfect, even after my operation"-posts has the risk of making you even more miserable when you realise you are far from your picture perfect-posts on Facebook.... and even further away from your marathon running, single mother-friend who also travels the world and still bakes for Stellas class every Friday! (Trust me - she also has bad hair-days!!)
I am 46 and I have been in that rut of "Oh, I have to put everything out there!". It was really hard for me when I was out with a close friend, having lunch and she suddenly said: "It's nice to almost have lunch with you!" when I checked my phone to see who liked my food post! I was addicted to the likes and the comments and the by proxy-care on the self pity-posts (because DO they care? Are they not just happy the shit isn't happening to them??) It took me a long time to get un-addicted! To just enjoy the sunset without posting it, to actually FEEL the sand under my feet, or to just hang out with friends without checking in at the bar!
I must say I enjoy my age. Forty-six, almost 5 decades. Halfway in life! I was a child when we could go out and play after school, climb the trees we were told NOT to, and survive! I ate dirt! I picked up dead birds to examine them, stole flowers in a garden.... and I got home safe without my parents having to tag me to know everything about what I did!
The TV ads "Who wouldn't like to be 20 again".... I can honestly say NOT ME!! I mean life and age and experience have done so much to and for me!!
Instead of age I think we should count levels, just like in games. To internalize it, to see age and time as a benefit and a collection of experiences that will make our time to come easier. But that would of course mean that we as a species decide to NOT let the outer surface determine how we judge people and thereby put them in specific boxes ("24, you're still a kid!!" or "78 GOD!! you're old, you don't remember anything anyway!"). We will have to look at what we can't see....... and that takes a lot of work!
The most important thing I have learned aging is this: All is good!! Everything can be sorted within time. But give it time!! Don't say that you're gonna fix your overweight within 3 months, or stop smoking in a month or get rid of back pain in a couple of months time!
The thing with time is that is is bound to our linear understanding of it. Get born, then you start school at 6, then you can vote, then you get married and get a family and then you die!
But remember that the world is much older that you and time and Her perspective we are only little glimpses on Her skin. She has patience and love and time to give.
This picture is from the site of the battle of Ypres a 100 years ago. It was a bomb crater, filled with mud and totally destroyed! I mean nothing had survived! When I saw the before and after pictures I suddenly understood!! That time is so bound to our own age - that if you give your wound time to heal, give it so much time as Mother Earth would do, not a "Fit and slender i 28 days" thing because it ain't gonna last, gurl!!!
But for us to do that we have to acknowledge Aging, the accumulating of knowledge and experience, and memories as a ritual to become a part of The Older and Wiser Tribe of this Earth.
I say "Celebrate your age"! Be happy that you now know that you don't have to post everything.... trust me, it has happened anyway! Keep the secrets. Nobody has to know the whole story! Enjoy just sitting in the sun! Have a lazy day with a book. Do some gardening. Spend time with yourself and you might find out you're an awesome person! Breathe. Drink wine and enjoy it. Listen to your body, even when it says to go out for a run. Know how stress feels on your system so you can avoid it....... have a few, but very dear friends, be loyal and expect loyalty. Respect your elders - they know stuff, even if they don't say anything. Have time to listen and understand, then there's a chance of you actually hearing what is happening in and around you!!
Celebrate age! You're totally worth it!