There’s something quite disconcerting when your child—a child who has not yet seen his 17th let alone 20th, 30th or yikes 40th b-day—declares he feels old.
He recalls seeing its predecessor as a small child. The second was after his volunteer Vacation Bible School church gig where for the most part he sang silly songs and played goofy games with 5, 6, 7, and 8-year olds.
Their boundless energy made him feel old.
OLD….HA! Nice try there, young whippersnapper! How can you feel old when you don’t even drive yet and your mom is your 1-800-taxi service? To which my conscious said—HA! Nice try deflecting the issue there, Alison.
When your child feels old, or worse, when said child tells you he feels old, how the heck does that make you feel?
In a word—ancient.
Now, I’m what a friend of mine born the same year as me coined a cusp kid. We don’t quite fit in with the Boomers and we don’t quite fit in with the Gen Xers. We traverse that Boomer/Gen X gamut, whichever way the wind blows on any given day. Sorta like a tumbleweed. And what do we cusp kids love to defy most? Aging. Gulp. There I said it.
Yup. Those dreaded milestones, 30s, 40s, 50s. What to do? Lie down and bow to the passage of time with grace or lace up those boxing gloves and fight back every step of the way.
I say fight back every step of the way. To be honest chronological age is something I never pondered much. It wasn’t until my son mentioned age that I entertained the concept of not only visiting the topic but perhaps even addressing it.
But the truth was, I was at that 50’s crossroad. So what did that mean? An AARP card? Senior discounts? Hormone replacement therapy seemed just around the corner. Would I start needing afternoon naps?
Perish the thought.
So I decided I could make a choice—surrender or lace up those boxing gloves and re-invent the wheel. Or as is my case, bust out the pen and paper and rewrite the story. Sixty is the new 30 or so the high-tech, high-financed, ad campaigns say.
Hence, this survival guide to aging:
- Go to the playground and hit the swings, climb the jungle gym, master the monkey bars.
- When served peas toss them, and then toss a tantrum for not getting your dessert.
- Refuse to go to bed at a reasonable hour.
- Draw a picture and not only color out of the lines but color on the walls.
- Scream I hate you five times per day when you don’t get your way.
Wait, the list isn’t quite working for you? No desire to regress to that toddler state of mind? How about this one:
- Tackle a new challenge or adventure—hike a mountain, learn to scuba dive or surf, learn a new language, or return to school to attain a new degree.
- Laugh. Don’t take yourself or your age too seriously.
- Spend time with those older than you…listen to their stories and learn something.
- Spend time with those younger than you….watch them play and learn something.
- Most of all embrace it—enjoy the age you are and don’t let anyone tell you that you are old.