What do you think you shouldn’t do, wear or be now that you’re older?
I bet you want to think that you’re never too old to do whatever you want, no matter your age. But I’m curious if that’s really honest.
There’s a lot of talk in the news right now about an outfit Madonna wore recently to the Met Gala. I’m not a fan of hers, but the story caught my attention because it was so full of judgement about aging. I took a look at the photo and thought, “wow, she really looks amazing…I could never wear something like that, even when I was younger….and I wouldn’t even want to.” I didn’t think she SHOULDN’T wear it. But what’s going on in the media is a combination of “it’s a bad dress,” “it’s an inappropriate dress for this type of an event” and “a woman in her late 50s shouldn’t be wearing something like that.” Interesting.
It got me thinking.
What do I think I’m too old to do, now that I’m in my 50s?
The first thing I thought about was wearing skirts that are too short. Even though I think my legs are my best physical feature, I think I’m too old to wear clothes like this. I also don’t think I should be wearing brightly colored eye shadow. It looks ridiculous. And another thing…I think I’m too old to try to look taller than I am and be uncomfortable as a result. I’m only 4’10” and that’s the way it is; a three inch heel isn’t really going to make that much of a difference.
Thoughts about age can be telling. They can give good insight into what we really think about our potential. Do we have thoughts about what WE should be doing at a certain age? Or are they really thoughts about what we think EVERYONE should be doing at that age?
I met an 82 year old woman recently who drove from the East Coast of Canada to Toronto, Ontario BY HERSELF. My immediate thought was, “WOW.” I was impressed and surprised that someone her age could manage a multiple day drive like that alone.
One of the most powerful questions we ask when coaching is “why” and “what do you make that mean?” This is a great way to dig a little deeper into some thoughts you always think, that actually seem factual to you.
So I asked myself, why was I impressed that this woman drove this distance by herself? My answer was, because I didn’t think people that age could do that. When I realized that I was surprised by her accomplishment and confidence, I felt inspired and listened to her tell her story in awe. I also realized I had some negative thinking going on about aging.
The same thing happened to me when I went on a six day white water rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. Three of the 27 people on the rafts on that trip were between 72 and 78 years old. I noticed myself thinking, “I didn’t know people that old could handle an intense, physical trip like this.” Again, I had some interesting beliefs having to do with age and what people are capable of.
Age itself is neutral. It is just a number. Much like weight. It’s what we think ABOUT that number that can create a problem. When it comes to aging, these thoughts can be quite limiting.
What SHOULD I be doing in my 50s?
I think I should:
- be totally OK with investing in good skin care, especially eye cream
- plan the best, most fun, adventure-travel vacations with my family (and wait to renovate the bathroom)
- make sure my career is in line with my core values and with how I want to spend my valuable time
- accept the fact that I probably need to start wearing real glasses, not just readers
- prioritize relationships and spend more time with the people I love and who make me laugh
- make a conscious effort to edit the “stuff” in my house and declutter
- create more systems and routines that support the lifestyle I want
- accept that I really don’t like heights and that I don’t have to ski the hardest mountain or do a crazy zipline to be a cool mom (providing the opportunities is just as cool)
- figure out how I can have a sunroom or screenporch in my life – it just makes me happy
What should you be doing now that you’re older? What about what you think you SHOULDN’T be doing anymore? Why?
I would love to hear what’s on your list. These kinds of issues are just some of the things my clients want to talk about in my coaching practice. One of the overarching issues for many of my clients is the realization, or the thought, “life is passing me by” and figuring out what they make that mean. Getting a handle on all of this stuff is such an important component of living intentionally and creating the life you WANT to live.
I’d love to talk to you more about this. I offer a FREE mini session that might be just what you’re looking for. I also have a FREE download to help you regret proof your life: www.suzyrosenstein.com/dreamigniter. Enjoy!