by Kim Klein – Guest Blogger
I was 10 years old when my older brother entered my room and saw my best friend and me playing with Barbie dolls. All he had to do was mutter a sarcastic “goo goo ga ga,” for me to feel completely embarrassed and pack away Barbie, Ken, and Skipper, too. Off they went to my childhood memory box. I was officially too old to play with Barbie’s.
Little by little we are told that we are too old for many things. Too old to wear bangs, to wear loud patterns or bright colors, to wear our hair long, our skirts short, our blouses low cut, to flirt, to have fun, to dance, to get a tattoo, to be wild. In other words, we are too old to feel or act the way when did when we were young.
And those are just some of the things we tell ourselves that we are too old to do. We continue adding to the list; we are too old to start a new career, to go back to school, find a new partner, travel alone, live out a dream. But where in the world did this attitude and set of rules come from? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we become rule-breakers, disrupters. As baby boomers we have already done that.
Life is short and I like to think of a lifetime as just that, a lifetime, not broken down into little segments, years or decades. Is that silly? Is that unrealistic?
To put deadlines and use by dates on us is simply falling into that stereotypical trapping that cuts “living” short. Sure, we get to exist here on earth, but now more as spectators instead of players.
Of course, there may be actual physical limitations that are real, and perhaps we can’t continue on with our dream of hiking the Himalayas, walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, or becoming a dancer with the NYC Ballet. Maybe we’ve entered and gone through menopause and the time for childbirth is behind us. But there is still so much we can do. And as far as most of the things that we feel we are too old to do, they are simply preconceived notions of age that we have been conditioned to accept as truth, taking up residence in our heads but fighting to be evicted from our hearts. It is going to take the okay, the go ahead, the joint effort and the inspiration from the women around us.
50 is not the new 30, and it doesn’t need to be. 50 is 50, 60 is 60, and so it goes. The only thing those numbers are really good for are reminders of things, like when we are eligible for certain discounts, when we can draw from our IRA without a penalty and when we need a colonoscopy! But other than that, it doesn’t matter.
It takes some work to adopt this kind of attitude. It takes a lot of gratitude work. It takes waking up every morning and giving thanks that we get experience another day. It takes appreciation, acceptance and an overwhelming amount of love for ourselves and for this life that we have been gifted.
So our actual age, as in numbers, is not something that should stop us. It’s not the time to put on the brakes. Maybe yield a bit, but it doesn’t warrant a full-on red light stop.
My motto is, life should NOT be about counting the candles. It should be about eating the cake. And while I’m at it, I think I’ll serve myself a scoop of ice cream on the side. Care to join me?
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Kim Klein is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Certified Feng Shui Practitioner whose specialty is combining the two modalities to help women achieve balance, rediscover their purpose and reignite their passion for living. She is the author of Damn, the Pusherman ~ Sugar, The Legal Drug that is Keeping you Sick and Fat, and Nine Degrees North, a young adult fiction novel that takes place on Kwajalein, a Pacific Island US missile range in 1969.