Pooja Poddar Marwah

Ageism – Feel like 20 at sixty?

Are you guilty of letting a number define your impulsiveness? Or do you sit back and let the people around you dictate the ‘could be’ and the ‘should be’ of your life?

I have so very often heard –

At your age! (wide eyed exclamation)

Aren’t you too old? (head shaking in disapproval)

What will people say? (passing feelings of insecurity)

What has age got to do with the way you want to live life? Why should the people around you tell you what to wear or how to behave? How is it automatically decided that you are old at 60 and young at 40?

Sometimes it feels as though we are subliminally taught through our youth that ageing is negative. It is something that HAS to be endured, something that makes us feel LESS capable, professionally and personally. Some of it comes from the world around us, but a major faction of the way in which we perceive our own selves, deduces the age in us.

You are never too old to try something new if you have the right mindset and the faith in your ability. If Branson can reach for the stars, literally at 70, If the 90 year old Harbhajan Kaur, in Punjab can make barfi to fulfil her life’s desire of being economically independent, If 103 year old Kitty from Washington can skydive for the thrill of it; wouldn’t you agree that this slow circle is nearing its completion of ‘age is just a number.’

As we live through year after year, we add moments to our life. You can wince at the sign of a dark spot or wrinkle or you can embrace it and take it head on. We live in a world wherein technology is advancing at a rate, faster than the speed of sound. So, why is it that our mindsets are declining towards the cave age? Every person is different and it is their journey that strengthens or weakens them. But, No matter how tough things may seem, the only way to cross the dark tunnel is to keep walking, knowing that the opening will be there.

Ageism is a revolution that needs to be brought to the forefront. It isn’t about old retired people who have nothing better to do with their time, except read the newspaper and play golf. It is about a generation that has the foundation of experience, the impishness of a youth gone by and a thirst for memories to make!

There is a difference between the mundane escapism called existing, versus the uncertain adrenalin that life beckons with. Growing old is a way of life but growing up is entirely optional. You have to fight to keep your spirit alive, for life has this uncanny knack of surprising you, to shocking you, thereby upturning everything you may have considered to be of normalcy! You have to have desire and passion to unlearn all that you know, so you can re-learn all over again. You have to retain the hunger of your own youth all through your life so that each and every day makes it worthwhile.

Being treated as a senior or an old person does not in any way disqualify you from being able to lick that ice cream off the cone or swim across the English channel! Or fall in love all over again! Just because you may be a grandfather/mother is of no reason that you can’t learn the guitar or go to college. There are reasons aplenty to conform to stoic dictatorial rules that align the way life should be lived, and then there is a reason called love that lets you live it the way you want to.

There are only as many trips around the sun you get. And the twilight years of your life are the ones you should be making a dash for. Even in a long distance race, the runner always starts with careful measured steps and goes mile after mile maintaining the measures. But, it is when he sees the final lap, that he gives it his all, and runs.. with all his passion, with all his love and with all his strength.

So, whether you want to be the old man enjoying his malt by the sea or the grouchy one with all his life’s despair upon him, just know that, that choice always rested with you.

P.S. To feel like 20 at sixty, drop in a message at @poojapoddarmarwah on instagram. 



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