Is Age Just A Number?
I’ll start by saying yes, I think age is just a number. To be defined by it is to put restrictions on yourself for no reason at all. How ridiculous.
Yesterday Rob and I played an afternoon show for the Wellington Community League and then had to hurry over to play a Birthday Party in St. Albert. Two full shows in one day... 6 hours of actual playing spread out from noon to midnight. I slept like a baby last night to say the least. We didn’t know it was a surprise party, but quickly found out that not only was it a surprise, but it was celebrating a 90th birthday - which brings me to today’s topic. Our birthday girl spent the entire night dancing with almost every family member she could grab hold of. What a spunky lady. Judging from all the stories that were told she was always the crazy Aunt or mom or whatever, so it was fitting to have such a fun party that went late and she was actually one of the last to leave. So is age a number? I can’t say this 90 year old woman is like any other 90 year old I’ve ever met, but is it because she chose to ignore how people expect her to act? Maybe she’s just an exception. Do people get old because they start acting like other people treat them? At 70 will people take away my empowerment, saying I’m 70 and should not be lifting something or working in my garden so much or doing whatever? Do others make you feel older than you feel and then you act accordingly? I realize sometimes the body doesn’t agree with the mind about your age, but if you keep using it hopefully you won’t lose it. Doesn’t always work that way, but we can try.
I won’t say how old Rob is, but sometimes when we meet people at bars and I start a conversation with another couple and the man is the same age as Rob, I am in disbelief. There are quite a few years between Rob and I - 13 to be exact - but it has never been an issue. Right from the beginning I knew my path in life would work very nicely with his. We generally want the same thing and neither of us feel like we have to act our age. Being a musician I guess makes you an exception right away. In the time I’ve known him he has usually worn jeans and some kind of band t-shirt, dressing up with the occasional button up shirt for select gigs. So when we’re in a bar sitting with other guys that are his age who are wearing golf shirts or whatever their wife has said is acceptable for a man that age to be wearing, it’s pretty impossible that you would guess they are all the same age. On the cruise ships he had to wear dress pants and collared shirts everywhere he went. I had to dress differently too. I tend to dress the same that I did in high school for the most part, but having to dress “appropriately” for the ships made us both seem older than we were. I guess it didn’t help that he grew a giant beard, but some people actually guessed his age 10+ years older than he actually was. All because of the way you dress and act. Makes a big difference.
I know some women in their 70s and you’d never guess it because they’re so active in their community. They know everyone and have a ton of energy. They don’t act like “seniors” because why would you want to do that. It goes against everything I believe in to let others dictate how you behave, no matter how big that group of people is telling you to act that way. Some might think this is misbehaving, but if you’re one of “those” then you probably are just angry that you did fall for society’s trickery and now you’re a very very “old” 40 year old or 60 year old or whatever age. Newsflash - no one really cares how old you are; only you and the government. I see this too with people with kids. It’s like the second they have kids they aren’t fun anymore. I guess that’s how you show you’re a responsible adult, enough to take care of another human at least. I figure if you have your shit together in the background, then you should be able to be silly and have as much as you want. But that’s just me.