Do You Let Your Age Define You?

A few months ago, my youngest son turned 6 and I recall how excited he was to be having a birthday. Thirty days prior to his birthday he started a countdown and talked incessantly about all the things he was going to do on his big day. He was eager to turn 6 and not be 5 anymore. “I’ll be a big boy now, right mom?” he asked continuously. He was 5 going on 12, and on his way to “catching up” with his older brother. His birthday (finally) arrived and he had the time of his life, the “bestest birthday ever,” he proclaimed all day.  He went to bed ecstatic that night.

Early the next morning he woke up screaming, “MOM…DAD, I STILL FEEL 5!!!”

We could barely hold back our laughter. I told him aging takes time, it’s not something that happens overnight and becomes noticeable right away.

How many of us, including myself, still feel 25? It’s funny how adults feel an inner child inside them always, while children feel older than they are and wish to grow up quickly. We are always worried about our age at one point or another…sigh.

I look up to individuals who follow their dreams no matter what their age. Take for example, Mozart who taught himself to play music at the very young age of 3, or Michael Jackson who started his singing career at the age of 6, or Picasso who completed his “Guernica” masterpiece at the age of 55. Madonna continues to rock in her 50’s, despite the brutal criticism she receives simply for being older and not acting her age. I admire that she refuses to abandon who she is just to meet society’s standards.  These individuals sure didn’t let age get in the way of their ability or potential to do something great.

How admirable is that?

I think that this concept of how you feel about your age is so important and in essence defines how you act and feel.

Unfortunately, we are aged by the culture we live in and the influence of media, it’s about how we should look, how we should act, how we should feel, how we should dress, and those stereotypes are wrong and oftentimes out of date. If you see yourself as old (or refer to yourself as old), then you’ll most likely feel and act that way, so don’t let your mindset limit you or hold you back. Who said that certain milestones need to be reached at particular ages? You’re never too old to go back to school, to start a new career, to start a new love, to go dancing, to run a marathon, to fill in the blank.

So defy it! Don’t let society, social media, popular culture, family, friends, and even yourself, tell you what is appropriate or not for your age. Remember “age does not define you, you define your age,” so stop worrying about it, go ahead and set your own standard, and embrace your age.

This is your time.

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