by Lara Gladych –
Seaside Magazine wants to live up to our slogan of being “the voice of the Saanich Peninsula,” so, in every issue, we ask people to answer a question. We’re looking for responses from all ages and across the diverse neighbourhoods that form our community.
I was recently working on a project for my mother’s 80th birthday. It made me very mindful of age and the passage of time as I flipped through old photo albums and pictures from long ago. I started to ponder age and wondered how people feel about aging. Is it just a number, does it represent some season passed, or those yet to come?
Being that I timed my usual street interviews badly as to coincide with the snow storms of February, I had to get creative with finding responses for this month’s column. I polled people in my own circle via email, this time asking the following question: “Do you feel your age, or is age a state of mind? In March, as we catch a glimpse of spring, do you feel that you are (still) in the springtime of youth or that you have a reached a later season in life (and if so, what are your feelings about that)?”
Those who responded were all women – so sorry, gents – but I hope that their answers resonate with all, male and female.
Kristin, 36, had this to say: “I feel forever 25 (but with a few more grey hairs). Honest to God I do. I can pull up my boot straps and act like a grown lady when I have to, but in my heart of hearts I feel like a mid-20’s gal. I hope I never feel old, not because I don’t want to get older, but because I think having a young mind, having fun in life and not taking things too seriously are hopefully helpful with living a long healthy life.”
“I can go through all seasons in just a few hours! Age is always a ‘state of mind’ … quit thinking about it and just let it happen.” This was Joyce, who is 76 “and climbing.”
I heard from two of my daughter’s friends, Courtney and Josephine, both 16, who shared their answer: “We both believe that age is a state of mind, though there is no use in denying your age. Your perspective on your age plays a great role in how you view yourself in the current moment. How old you are doesn’t determine anything significant, and nothing should hold you back from achieving what you want to achieve. It is meaningless to preoccupy your mind with such thoughts; time is inevitable.”
My daughter, Gabby, 16, chimed in too: “When you are with the right people, age doesn’t matter. You can act yourself whether that means you are young at heart or an old soul.”
Bridget is 35. “I don’t feel my age. When something happens I still look for a grown up. I don’t feel like I’m in the spring of my youth – I made way too many silly decisions back then. I feel good that I’m old enough to be settled, but not so old that I can’t be still be silly sometimes.”
Lisa, 53, said: “As I have gotten older, I’ve thought more and more about aging. I’m not crazy about it, but what can you do? It’s better than the alternative, as they say. I do think age is mostly a state of mind. Most of my friends are a decade younger than I am. My husband is almost a decade older. It can feel a little isolating at times but overall we all feel bonded by our kids and common interests and get along really well despite any age difference.”
“No I do NOT feel my age! I have always been told by my mom and my nana that age is just a number and that you are only as old as you feel, and that is what I truly believe! Keeping active, staying healthy and working with kids helps me a lot. Mind over matter!” said Lesley, 45.
“It depends on how much sleep I get,” said Olga, 70. “Sometimes I feel that I’m in the summer of my life and at other times, I feel like I am in the twilight zone.” Thank you for the comedic relief, Olga.
Some words of wisdom from two other women who have left their mark on the world. From the beautiful Coco Chanel: “Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50.” And from the iconic Betty Friedan: “Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”