Act Your Age

The image on my post is of Bette Davis and Gary Merrill in ” All About Eve.” This film was about a middle-aged actress being undermined by a younger, inexperienced competitor and how Hollywood treats “older” actresses.

We tell kids to “act your age” when we think they are acting immature and older people are sometimes told the same thing. What do we mean when we tell an older person to “act your age?”

I was very happy and humbled to see the response to my last post about Aging Disgracefully. The response made me realize that there are many people out there who are thinking about this issue.

One big reason why I do not like being told about  “aging gracefully” is that I interpret it to be a prescription on how we should all behave and live our lives as we get older. And there are all these assumptions and expectations that come attached to that description of aging. Here is something from Huffington Post: “Want to Age Gracefully? Avoid these 7 Things,” with a photo of George Clooney and Sandra Bullock on the top. The suggestion being that if we want to look like these celebrities, who are obviously “aging gracefully,” we should read the following. And it seems the author thinks being in your 50s is the start of aging. Another post on the  “Gen Fab” blog  called ” Ageing Gracefully: What Exactly Does That Mean? ”  has a photo of Sandra Bullock as Superwoman in the top photo.  They asked women, a group of bloggers nearing and post 50,  what they thought of “aging gracefully.” I liked the slideshow in the post a little better which includes some opinions of the bloggers.

Here’s another post from Huff/Post 50  today: “It’s Hard for Men to Believe I Feel Attractive at 50.” I almost skipped reading it with that title but she did have a few things to say I thought were positive about aging.

Another thing that bothers me is that much is written at older people and not by older people. I would much rather read about the personal journey than what someone thinks that journey should be. So I was happy to read what  some of you shared about how you are living your lives.

How should we “act our age?” I don’t think we have to prove anything, like be a marathon runner, swim to Cuba, or take up aerobic yoga. To me it is a process of self-discovery. If we have been athletes all our lives we may still want to be athletes. But there are so many other things we can do. One reader said she is “creatively aging.”  I am in the process of discovery myself. I have been working a little as a tutor and I am volunteering as a literacy tutor. I am blogging.  🙂  I want to start exploring other possible interests as well.

How do you envision your aging? How do you want to “act your age?”

 

FYI for the Introverts among us and those who love them  The Quiet Revolution website is getting ready to launch soon.

10 thoughts on “Act Your Age

  1. NotAPunkRocker

    I think Davis and Merrill met and married while filming, or thereabouts.

    I don’t act my age, except when it comes to things like paying bills, etc. Anyone who has an issue with the way I act or look can come to therapy with me to find out why I am silly now when I wasn’t allowed to be as a child. You never know anyone’s motivations; divorce, marriage, death, re-birth, etc. However way that manifests itself on the outside is the way it should be.

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Yes. They were married. I don’t know the details. I thought the film was ahead of its time. I did read it is the only film ever to have 4 academy award nominated actresses for a film. I think we should act the way we want as long as we are not doing anything criminal. 🙂 I like re-birth. What is acting your age anyway? That is someone else putting expectations on how we should act.

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  2. Doobster418

    This comment is probably more appropriate to your previous post, but I had a busy day yesterday and didn’t get around to reading it. Besides, there are already so many comments there that I thought it might get lost.

    My observations about “aging gracefully” are from a male’s perspective — and from a senior citizen’s perspective as well. To me, “aging gracefully” means accepting your age and who you are. It means that if you’re losing your hair, don’t try hiding it with a comb-over or with a cheap wig. Don’t get hair plugs or cosmetic surgery. If an older male is lucky enough to have hair on his head, don’t dye it. Let it go gray. Cosmetic surgery? Fuhgedabouddit. Just accept that you are growing old and do the best you can to stay healthy and in decent physical shape. I know there is more pressure on women to look younger, and I understand that, which is another reason I’m delighted to be a male.

    As to “act your age,” is there a handbook or a manual that articulates how one is supposed to act at every age? You know, like “Growing Old for Dummies”? From my perspective, every morning that I wake up and realize that I’m still alive, is acting my age.

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I like the idea of accepting yourself, your age and who you are. I think it can be hard because society many times will not be accepting us as we age. Which I think is sad and their loss. It is hard for women because we mostly aren’t accepted in our aging. But it is hard for men to lose their hair as well and get comfortable with it. I think there are many people wanting to give instructions for that manual about how we should be acting as we age. Yes discovering yourself and acting like yourself is acting your age IMO. I think we all have to write our own manual. 🙂

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  3. Dan Antion

    “Act my age?” That is simply not going to happen. I don’t think it ever has. In fact, I was often accused of being “mature for my age” but most of my family would laugh at that thought today. I’ll just be me, thank you very much. I’ll do the things that interest me, the things I enjoy and I’m not going to really worry about the other people who do these things. I’ll try not to embarrass my family members but that’s about all the thought I’m going to give it.

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  4. Fourth Generation Farmgirl

    In my opinion, aging is a gift. It’s an opportunity to grow into the person we were meant to be. It’s a chance to take all of life’s experiences and apply them so that we may live in a more meaningful way: feeling grateful for simple things, offering insight to those who may benefit, and having more compassion for those around us–including ourselves.

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  5. LifestyleswithLia

    What a thought-provoking post… I envision my aging as always learning and growing.. Never stopping to think I’m “done “….always rediscovering myself …and of course, enjoying life with family, friends, and good food!
    Cheers!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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