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Senior Momentum - January 2015 - It Would Be So Much Easier...

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Senior Momentum - January 2015
It Would Be So Much Easier...

by Zoe Tummillo

... if I actually felt old! But I don’t; and sometimes that simple reality gets in the way! It was interesting asking the question: Do you feel your age?  Most replied: How is my age supposed to feel! (Touché!)

Others have no problem reminding us about our age, and that’s probably a good thing. You know what it sounds like and how it goes! Wow! You sure don’t look your age!  Would you like the Senior Discount?  Oh! Let me help you up those stairs...  Etc.

That’s all about consideration and kindness, of course! And I appreciate that. But I feel a bit odd when things like that occur, because I see myself from the inside out where my outlook got stuck, reluctant to move past my 40’s!  Folks and mirrors, however, can set you straight in a hurry, and remind you that the world sees us from the outside! 

The numbers, per se, never impressed me in the past. Even now they still seem far less relevant than one’s state of mind, attitudes and visual perspectives. In the first place, physical limitations have never been exclusive to age. As long as there are wars, disease, genetics and accidents, disabilities will remain ageless and universal. Anyway, outward appearances do not tell the whole story...ever.

‘tho certain numbers do carry specific magic – old enough to drive, old enough to marry without parental consent, old enough to drink, old enough to claim a trust fund, old enough to receive your Social Security benefits, etc. But those are simply contrived social milestones connected to privileges and rights. Important they may be, but signifying little when it comes to how one perceives their real age vs. their internal sense of age -- and the resulting implications! (I can almost hear the protests!)

If I felt like whatever “almost 80” is supposed to feel like, I think it would make some things much easier! For one, I would probably not get that look on my face that translates: What? Like, I can’t imagine why someone did or said this-or-that (to me) that they’d only say or do to someone old, obviously disabled, decrepit or clueless! I nearly jumped out of my skin recently when a guy leaped in front of me to grab the door. I thought I was about to be mugged, so I was ready for anything, grim face and all! We both wound up laughing. It’s the cane that does it.

Holidays and “Happy New Year’s” seem to amplify all perceptions. We wrestle with memories. We ponder the future. We might question the meaning of it all. We may question our part in it all. At such times, I think our chronological age (not our perceptive age) comes into sharp focus and our experience looks us in the eye. We know what went right. We know what went wrong. We know where we went along to get along.

It’s no fun to consider (again, as a new year looms) that we still use war, we underuse diplomacy and reason, we still waste and pollute, we tolerate gross poverty and unforgivable hunger, and still convince ourselves that we do enough about it, all we can, when we can, when and if...oh, well. 

It would be so much easier if I actually felt my age... Maybe then I could wax philosophical! I could tell myself I am, finally, old enough to rise above the foray, leave it all to the younger generations to handle, execute a graceful disconnection and try to just “lighten up!” Right...

 

Zoë Tummillo is a Business & Marketing Consultant, Trainer, Commercial Writer, dba COMMUNICATION CONCEPTS, in private practice since 1974. In addition to Commercial work, she writes “Senior Momentum:  A Series of Situations”ã;Pieces of My Path”ã. essay memoirs of growing up first generation Italian American; and Senior Momentum:  Front And Center!ã. To contact her: email: writingservice@earthlink.net