Soon we’ll have to stop being amazed and accept this is the way it is. As my friend Lynn Ruth Miller (stand up comic, burlesque dancer) says ‘I want to be known for being funny, not for being funny at 82.’
In The Telegraph article Youthfulness isn’t defined by our years Psychologist Miriam Akhtar says: “Life is less linear than it used to be. It isn’t about reaching a peak in your twenties and then it’s all downhill. It’s about having different chapters.”
I love that – recognising a new chapter when we hit it is enlivening. It’s all to go for and age becomes irrelevant.
The article also says that ‘ 76 per cent of those surveyed felt more self-assured in their fifties than their twenties, with 47 per cent saying they are happier with their body, more than a third (36 per cent) more content with their looks and one in seven feeling fitter than ever.’ This is put down to having success in our lives that build strong confidence and sense of self.
Let’s not make this a tyranny
But if we’re taking ‘age’ out of a box, we need to go one step further. To see that it’s a challenge at any point. My youngest daughter, Miriam, just turned 30 – and she struggled with the thought of ‘getting old’. My sister just turned 70 and she hated every moment of it. It’s all subjective. Age is just about being older than we were before; being a step closer to the end; a step away from the magic of youth that is so lauded in our society. And we have to deal with that – however crazy it seems so those looking back from a fine old age.
Miriam is convinced the Boomers are setting a new norm. I agree. Some of us are out in the world doing new things, looking younger and fitter, setting new standards. We’re not sitting back to wait for the final hour. But there are others enjoying old age, who just want to relax into a peaceful, slow paced life. And those who live one option and long for the other.
It’s the tyranny of youth that made age a problem in the first place. Let’s not make being sparky in your 60’s and sassy in your 70’s just another ‘should’ to add to the pile. If we really are more self assured, let’s support sisters of all ages to grow old as they want to – be they living young or enjoying old.
No rules – that’s the point.
Enjoy your choices and age in your own way – with delight!