Nobody should have the time to get old

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Photo by Rinke Dohmen on Unsplash

“But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

~ C.S. Lewis

“Is THAT what you’re writing for Valentine’s Day?” the question came after my last post.

I laughed.

“Why?”

“It’s so…so wise and…well, subdued.”

Ahh. That.

Subdued. As in, old.

Well then, let’s rectify the situation. I am not old. I am old-er, which also means younger. And lately, getting younger still, thank the godz.

Let me explain.

The world expects us to get old.

As in buy into.

Wise is not a bad thing to get. But it can happen without also getting the subdued part…the oldness.

It is said youth has no age. The very young in years usually say it. Until one day they find themselves getting excited they didn’t run out of Advil gel caps – like the rest of us.

I happen to think youth DOES have an age. The older you get in years, ideally, the younger you can become.

Younger in thinking and actions because you know better and can make better choices, including allowing, without guilt, those delicious selfish moments of laziness and unscripted living.

Because you can now be more brave, more curious, more excited, and understand the true value of both freedom and joy.

Younger in appearance, because your taste has hopefully improved, your standards have risen, and you can play with fashion and colors while also finally starting to take exercise seriously (if you haven’t already done so).

Younger in your soul, because you’ve done the work, learned your lessons, and are consistently freeing yourself from toxic patterns, domineering voices, and the need for approval from whoever.

Nobody should have the time to get old. That’s one “should” I will insist on.

All that seriousness has to go, and replaced with a little madness. With a lot of humor. With sparkly things. Music. Dancing. Staying up late. Sleeping in. TikTok videos. Driving around with the sunroof open and some new, “age inappropriate” hit blasting.

There are people out there in their 70’s and 80’s running marathons, gaming, being artsy and avant-garde in habits and appearance, writing, lifting weights, taking tango lessons, getting married, adopting animals, painting, getting another degree in something they’re passionate about.

There are people out there in their 40’s and 50’s starting over, doing things for the first time, freaking out over silly things, getting excited over silly things, being adorably irresponsible while also taking care of their responsibilities. Learning humor and lightness. Playing Minecraft. Walking barefoot on the beach or on the grass. Starting to come alive, again.

So then, instead of a subdued Valentine’s Day message, I present the exact opposite: a defiance of anything that’s remotely subdued. Or “mature” in that settling, scripted sense.

An insistence on growing younger. A call for awakening the kid in all of us, and listening to that kid as often as possible.

Life is serious business but it also isn’t.

Lots of things are necessary. Like beautiful things. Pleasures. Kindness that brings joy and fun, not sermons and obligation. Things that need to be done seriously, but not allowed to take over and suck the life out of life.

Lightness in wisdom is a must. As is courage. And playfulness.

A lot of laughter is needed. As are the best possible in fragrances, bedsheets and shoes. Fresh flowers and good candles. And cool music for god’s sakes!

But what does all this have to do with Valentine’s Day? Everything.

Not having time to get old is making time for a romance with oneself and the world. With life.

In this space loves grows. And thrives.

(P.S. If I get another question after this post, I don’t know what to tell you. This is as un-cranky as I get, lol.)

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