I recently happened to fill a form at some place. It asked for my age. The number 32 that I wrote with a fine tip blue pen was staring back at me. Occasionally smiling, but mostly staring.
32: ‘What? You haven’t realised yet that I have been tagging along with you since August?’
Me (embarrassed): Well I have. But this is the first time I have written it somewhere. So it suddenly struck me that you are here!
32: Doesn’t look like you are too happy about it!
Me: I am neither happy nor sad. I just feel you are quite a big number to tag along me now.
32: It HAS been a long way now right? Think about three decades. You can actually make the classical statements like ‘Bees saal pehle….’ and narrate your childhood now 😛
This thread of conversations continued inside my head. Buzzing, thinking, reflecting and most importantly acknowledging the impact of 32.
This got me to think about age.
I am not someone who subscribes to thinking that age does not impact you. Of late, there is extensive discussion everywhere about how you should not let age affect your life choices – ‘you can do anything you want at any time of your life’ is the motto everywhere.
Sure you can.
But can you seriously ignore the impact that your age has had on you?
More importantly – should you ignore the impact of age? I mean, is it necessary to always ascribe a negative perception about age as having created limitations for you?
Let me explain in some more details.
I have realised that my health and body are different now than, say, 10 years ago – its foolish to believe that it isn’t. Or that it is going to remain the same forever – it clearly won’t.
There is a fine line between acknowledging that your body has aged versus using your age as a limitation for a new activity. Age is not a limitation for STARTING any new activity. However, how you execute the activity should be determined by your current age and state of body (level of fitness).
Something similar also holds true for mental and emotional age. Age ought to have an impact on your mind as well – and it is going to, only if you are not adamant enough about not letting age affect your mind! And I believe acquiring experiences with age SHOULD influence your mental framework and emotional definitions. I think it’s not admiration-worthy to think that what your approaches 10 years ago were haven’t yet undergone any refinements. Again this is different from being a ‘child at heart’. Being a ‘child at heart’ simply means harboring a fun, curious, simplistic and unassuming attitude at all the things you do – which is an excellent quality regardless of age. But it clearly DOES NOT mean continuing to take half-thought, hurried decisions or being ignorant of surroundings or creating stupid humor at wrong situations!
My point here is simple – I often feel age is misinterpreted. You may have misinterpreted someone looking at their age. OR someone may have misinterpreted you. You may have misinterpreted age as a limitation or even an excuse.
Again, there is no reason to assume that someone may not like doing something simply becuase they are not in the ‘classical’ age for any activity.
Age is impactful but it is not something to be judged on the basis of – for yourself or for others!
Age need not define a confinement for your thinking.
But age will have an influence. And if we stopped believing that the influence is always negative, I think we will get better at acknowledging age and enjoying it for what it is!
I think this is a good time to list down what 32 actually means to me, in my current state.
Everyone’s 32 may not be the same, so I would love to hear what your age means to you.
32 is family responsibility
32 is becoming the decisive generation in the family
32 is life without grandparents
32 is enjoying crisp morning walks
32 is yet, also enjoying late night parties 😉
32 is health issues
32 is altered metabolism
32 is unicorns and dreams
32 is the start of career and family dreams
32 is flexibility
32 is realising that altering paths, in life or in careers, is totally ok
32 is having been through childbirth
32 is making bucket lists
32 is letting things take their own course
32 is defining needs
32 is realising that family is EVERYTHING
32 is fun
32 is loosing the need to fit in a crowd
32 is making allowances for mistakes – yours and others
32 is not too late to learn anything
32 is officially 10 years out of college
32 is not associating with current music trends
32 is more nostalgia than living in the moment
32 is defining priorities
32 is comfort in your own self
32 is appreciating and thanking your body
32 is a quest for wisdom
32 is wanting to learn something new everyday
32 is loving your baby above everything else
32 is appreciating biological clocks and body changes
32 is retrospective
32 is financial investments and plannings
32 is planning
32 is motherhood
32 is calling it ‘priorities’ instead of ‘sacrifice’
32 is valuing parents
32 is reading between the lines
32 is knowing what you hate about yourself
32 is poor at keeping in touch!
32 is often fast weeks and months that just zap by
32 is evaluating current fashion trends before adapting them!
32 is speaking free
32 is appreciating honesty
32 is a grey world – not black and white
32 is planning to write ’32 about 32′ but exceeding it anyways!!!
Above all, 32 is 32. 32 is not 19; and 32 is not 40. I want to be 32 when I am 32 – do you want to be what your age is?