If there is one thing I never expected to have to worry about as I grew older, it was acting my age. That would be the sort of thing that should come naturally , right? And yet here I am, thinking about it a lot. And I’m wondering how many of you find yourself in a similar situation.
My husband and I have a fairly busy social life, with an eclectic group of friends of different ages and from different walks of life. That’s what keeps it interesting.
Through the blog and the stuff I do around the blog, I often find myself working with, and surrounded by people a lot younger than me. Be it photographers on a shoot, suppliers to the Box, or even a lawyer or accountant, I’m often the oldest one in the room.
Nothing wrong with that I hear you say, and I agree, I love it. It’s stimulating, and lively and it keeps me on my toes. But while I am swept along in the young-busy-fuzz, I sometimes get pulled up short by the look in someone’s eye, or a casual comment, which reminds me that I am, well, looking slightly out of place.
Being a relatively free spirit, I guess I can simply sweep aside the surprised glances, and I don’t mind the questions, and I certainly love steep learning curves …. but the thing that I can’t deal with is the idea that I may look ridiculous because I am doing something age-inappropriate.
I can hear you saying, “when did she make herself look ridiculous?!….. what did she do?! ….”. So far my answer is “Never, and nothing …. or at least, I hope”.
Recently I was invited to speak at a professional conference. Before going, I was looking forward to sharing my experience, and yet also feeling pretty nervous. The conference was a sort of bloggy/website/techy thing, and I was invited to talk on a specific theme, namely how someone my age ends up with a blog, and what I can bring to blogging thanks to my “greater life experience”! (and yeah, I know, “greater life experience” is just a nice way of saying, “wow! really?… that old?!” )
It went well. I spoke, I took a lot of questions and I learnt a lot, and met some fascinating people…. but still I came out of it feeling incredibly relieved, thinking “Phew! I think I pulled that off.”
So my question to you is how do you handle this? We are a privileged generation, keeping fit for longer, and thanks to internet and this fast changing world, we have a million new opportunities open to us at almost any age. But do you think we should stick to our own age groups, and age-appropriate activities, or should we continue to push boundaries and ignore convention?
And what about the physical aspects? In this world where ‘youth is truth’, and there are so many cosmetic solutions out there for keeping the wrinkles and the saggy cheeks at bay, how far do we each need to go to continue feeling ‘comfortable in our skin’?
I’m sure you have all thought about this, and found your own middle road. But I’d love to know if you ever find yourself feeling out of place. Or if you’ve seen a girlfriend the same age as you doing something that has made you feel uncomfortable, and you’ve been tempted to say something?
Let’s celebrate together the freedom we have to continue to create, and explore and grow ….. and let’s watch each others backs!
PS. the next day ….. I am bowled over my readers!!!! Thank you so much for all these amazing comments! I apologise but it isn’t possible for me to reply to each comment, but I have read every single one, and I am beyond proud to be in such great company! You are total stars, and great inspiration!