Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Being Any Age

I spent time with a long-time friend of mine recently and she made a comment about how she had just realized that she couldn't be any age that popped into her head. She went on to talk about how easy it was for her to be "any age," usually younger than her current years. This she felt was much easier than being the age she is or older.

Now I can see not wanting to be older than one is. I can definitely see the desire as well to be younger than one is. It is easy to feel younger. The problem is that one does not usually look it. So while age is a "state of mind." Even the most fit among the early middle aged set have a bit of the middle age look to them. Once you listen to someones conversation it becomes even easier to tell their approximate age and thus more difficult for someone to cloak themselves in the shadows of their lost youth.

This is not all doom and gloom. Some propriety at any age keeps one from looking like a fool. Yearning to be younger, may actually help lead some towards a healthier lifestyle, one that can enhance their younger state of mind. As with any age, I look back and think of the pros and cons of previous decades. I can pause and think "Hm...I am glad that I don't think that way anymore" or "Wow, I really wish that I could do that again and not look like a complete idiot." Some things, like trying beer bongs, decorating my living space with garage sale items, and driving an unreliable car, I am glad to leave behind. I miss not being able to stay up all night without consequences in the morning, doing crazy things spontaneously, having so many experiences be "new," and looking great in all of my clothes and a swimsuit! Those are things that are hard to leave behind.

As I look towards my middle years, I find that I do need to adjust the "young at heart" mindset somewhat. "No, I don't look good in everything just because it is in style," "I have a career and can no longer hide out in school or afford to not try and get ahead before retirement," "I do like nice things and no longer see any allure in being poor and free," and "There are some things that I just don't like or don't like doing and I am not going to pretend otherwise." I find that at this age, I know myself better and that is the part that makes me look and act the age I am. Going forward, I will choose to see this as a benefit and play at being "any age that pops into my head" momentarily and for fun.

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