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.