Friday, March 10, 2017

Be Old Now

OLD is a perfectly good word.  
At a certain point we are old, but can still be beautiful.
It has far less to do with Botox and plastic surgery, 
than with personality, style and courage...*

Will we ever get to the point where we can say 'old' and be okay with it? It is true that the essence of our being is ageless -- never young, never old. However, we travel in these bodies and the body does age. Refusing to acknowledge we are old when we are in our sixties and seventies is a reflection of our internalized ageism.

On those occasions when someone refers to me as a young woman, I respond with “I am an old woman and proud of it.” While walking with a friend, a street vendor called out to me saying “Good morning, young lady.” I responded with “I am an old woman.” My friend, who was in his forties, said: “He was paying you a compliment. Why not say thank you?” Needless to say, my friend got the talk that calling someone young when they obviously have a lot of years behind them is not a compliment, but rather a dishonoring of the years they have been on the planet.

'Old' is associated with loss of hearing, loss of memory, loss of hair, etc. – and, yes, sometimes these things accompany old age and so it is. We need to broaden the concept of old because olders today are leading vibrant, active lives. One way to help make this shift is next time someone refers to you as 'young' claim your 'old' status with dignity and pride in a courteous fashion.

To paraphrase Ram Das: “Be Old Now.


*I do not recall where I saw this quote, but if anyone does, 
please let me know so I can properly credit it.

1 comment:

  1. Blair, you are taking on the job of culture warrior in your wise, bold Oldness - you are fearless in exposing your own vulnerabilities and speaking out when Ageism rears itself ... life is not just happening to Blair Fielding ... you are alive to the moments and the challenges and staying active and relevant - Bravo!!!