Thursday, May 5, 2011

To Be Young at Heart at Every Age

I've been thinking quite a bit lately about age, aging and how different age ranges are often grouped together by companies and by individuals as well.

 I was on a book site last week, signing up for a membership reward program and one of the questions was my date of birth. Then a notation that they wanted a person's age so that they could then send "appropriate" book suggestions based on your age. It was not an option to fill in this space so I decided to "knock off" a few years and change the date as well! Not only is someone's DOB a stat that shouldn't be shared for security reasons, unless it's really necessary; I also don't think it's a company's business to pry like this.  

I think this is just one of many age-related stereotypes that is going too far. To assume that a person in a certain age range would necessarily be interested in the same books that another person in that age group would also be is just stupid, in my opinion. Much like assuming that because of a person's age they are only interested in certain hobbies, sports, music, entertainment "grinds my gears" seeing this again and again.

One of the things I like so much about blogging is the "level playing field" that I've noted in the years I've been visiting blogs and posting myself. I have visited and enjoyed blogs hosted by people in their 20's all the way up to bloggers in their 80's. If you've got similar interests, who cares what age you happen to be?

I'm in my 50's, I make no secret of that. On a good day, I often have people remark that I look a lot younger than that. That's great, who doesn't love a compliment about aging well but at the same time, what exactly is a woman in their 50's suppose to look like? All wrinkled up, with drab outdated clothes and no make-up on? I think not!!! LOL

In a tennis class I took a few years ago one of the participants after finding out my age said to me:  "Wow, you look great. My sister is your age too and she's all wrinkles!!" The absolute surprise on her face that I shared the same age as her sister said it all.

I have known people in their 20's who in the true sense of the word are OLD. On the other hand, I've known people in their 80's who truly were YOUNG AT HEART, in the best possible ways. Active, up with the trends, interested in new challenges and learning, looking good and feeling good. Still open to life's many adventures, romance, opportunities and new beginnings of all kinds! And not dwelling on what birthday arrived last. 

I don't feel much different from when I was in my 30's. Being in good health certainly helps but it's not the whole story either. For the baby-boomer generation (which I am a part of) there does seem to be a shift in perceptions and many people saying "forget it" when it comes to being pigeon-holed into some age-related categories that were more in keeping with our parent's and grandparent's generation. Not that it was right then either. We don't expect that all woman will stay home and tend the home-fires and the babies anymore (like my mother and most of my school friends mother's did) to the exclusion of much else, why do we still have these misconceptions about aging?

It's changing but I don't think it's changing fast enough or on as far-reaching a scale as it should be.Age and perceptions of a person according to their age is not just a part of society's stereotyping, it's also a mindset for many, many people.  

Well, there's my visit to the soapbox for the week!!!

What are your thoughts on aging and ageism in society? 

On a lighter note, some music to go along with this post:                

Frank Sinatra's singing the classic: Young at Heart .

There are a lot of versions and various artists over there, singing this lovely, inspiring song but in my opinion, it doesn't get any better than "ol Blue Eyes". No wonder he was known for his "one take" recording sessions. His magical voice will live on forever. And what a gift of music he has left behind.

A song that always makes me smile. I hope you enjoy listening too!

Here's to being Young at Heart and the best we can all be, at every age and season in life!


Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Geraldine - I agree with you here whole heartedly!
Good post!
Thanks for the song as well, it brightened my morning. (I'll be singing it to myself all day :)
Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Not a soapbox at all, Geraldine! I am sixty, and don't mind at all. Like you, I have friends of all different ages, and don't worry about fitting in certain slots.

I know from blogging with you for several years, that we share quite a few interests. We both like the creative life and healthy lifestyles.

Hey, I think we are probably just getting better like fine wine.

Anonymous said...

Attitude is everything when it comes to age. Why should we lose our sense of enthusiasm and optimism and fun just because we are getting older? Young at heart is the only way to go!

SandyCarlson said...

I agree that age is an attitude. I am in my mid 40s, and I wouldn't turn the clock back for anything. I like to believe (and hope) that I've made my biggest mistakes and can start getting things right. Ha, ha!

I can't imagine what an age-appropriate book is. I love picture books, but I guess they're really not appropriate for an old doll like me!

Teri C said...

Lots of interesting thoughts here. Now that I am older I could care less about age except for those stereotyped ages. I still think I'm 21 but my body says 'whoa! no you aren't!!

Good to see you blogging again. I missed them with your wrist problem. Glad it's all better or better enough to be typing.

Geraldine said...

Hi Brenda, It's something that I use to hear from, from my beautiful mum and at the time I didn't get it. Now I do. I'm glad you enjoyed this post.

Hi SandyL, I agree, that's a perfect word choice "slots" . Fine wines eh, I'll be a merlot ok!!!

Hi Sel, Absolutely spot on!

Hi SandyC, Now this is something I can totally relate to. The regrets and "mistakes" are fewer and fewer these days, I like to think I've finally put most of my errors in judgement behind me. I guess it's all a learning process though. I wouldn't want to be in my 20's at this time in the history of the earth for anything. I look back on old TV shows and I think, we had such a nice time to be kids the kids seem so focused on computers etc, it's sad. Fresh air and fun and lots of laughs. I digress...I think that's changing too which is a good thing but we didn't have to be told to "go outside and play" we were already there , for hours at a time!

Hi Teri, I'm not sure I understand your comment "except for those stereotyped ages". If you can, please explain this a bit more.

I am so glad to be back too. I just got an email from a co. I've partnered with before for another project idea they want me to work on. More typing!!! Oh well, it's a reminder to take breaks and don't overdue. I think my wrist was sprained from picking up something that was too heavy and twisting it, the typing to excess just made it worse.

Hugs to all and Happy Weekend, G

PS: I'm over at OSI on Sunday this week, hope to see some of you there!

Teri C said...

I meant pretty much what you said in the post about being a age-related stereotypes for certain books, etc. Nothing profound.

I will be looking for you on Sunday, well, late in the day as we are going to my other daughter's for the day. Yes, I feel like I am on a merry-go round right now.

Joseph said...

There is still a lot of grouping people according to their ages and it's just wrong. When companies pry like that etc, they should be told that it's not acceptable. And get up to date with the times.

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