Age is Just a Number

Monday Author:  Susanne Skinner

“Age is a limit we set in our minds”

As I was walking down the jetway to board my flight, I heard the cabin attendant greet each person as they stepped through the doorway. “Good morning and welcome to Jet Blue,” was offered to each traveler. When it was my turn, he smiled at me and said, “Oh girl, I just love what you’ve done with your hair!”

Age is Just a Number, aging gracefully, live boldlyHe was referring to the bright streak of magenta in my otherwise silver hair. Sometimes I forget it’s there, but it never fails to be a conversation starter.

Some might say—in fact, some have actually said—that I am past the age for such youthful silliness. I disagree. When someone asked me why I did it, I answered, “Because I can.” I believe age is just a number and it should never define or limit us.

How Old Is Too Old?

That is a question each of us must answer for ourselves. Everyone grows older one year at a time, but some people age in ways not quantified by numbers.We will all age in body; but growing old in mind and spirit is not mandated by the passing of each year.  Getting old is a fact of life; being old has some leeway.

Things you can and can’t do will change as you age. What seemed easy at 16 might not be as effortless at 60, and much depends on good mental and physical well-being. I have never used just my age to determine what I should or should not do and, physical limits aside, I like to live a bit on the wild side.

Common sense plays a big role in how we think and act. Will Rogers reminds us that wisdom comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement. Some of us are wiser than other, and everyone has a story about doing that one thing that turned out to be not such a good idea.  But a magenta streak in your hair is not that one thing..

Live Boldly

This, more than anything, is my daily reminder that age happens to all of us and we owe ourselves a life lived well. A bold life isn’t defined by job successes, finances, your social standing or your hair color. Boldness finds its form and function in who you are and how you use the gifts you have been given. Do something every day that awakens your passion and brings those gifts to life.

Live BoldlyDon’t be afraid to act boldly. Some people are at home in a comfort zone that offers no change or challenge. Nothing extraordinary happens when we cling to what we know and never use our experience to venture into the unknown. Boldness is held down by fear of change and risk of failure.

I’m old enough to admit I’ve failed many times. It’s become a sign of resilience and lessons learned along the way. Failure taught me how to stand up again, even when it seemed overwhelmingly hard to do.The ability to start over is a reminder of how hard I’ve worked to become me.

People who love us will always be there to offer a helping hand, even when the rest of the world judges us harshly. They bring encouragement and laughter which are essential components of a bold life. Don’t let failure define you; define yourself by responding confidently and fearlessly. If you’ve been knocked down, get back up. Put a streak of color in your hair and discover how easy it is to start a conversation.

You can live boldly and age gracefully – it’s completely up to you.

Celebrate Yourself

No one else is like you. Each of us is a masterpiece and a work in progress at the same time.In fact, I don’t think anyone should get to a certain age, look in the mirror and say, “Ok, I’m done.”  Instead, ask “What comes next?” Dream big.

Don't Put Off Your Happy Life, ageIf there is something you want take steps that will move you closer to accomplishing it.  Even the smallest step forward is better than standing still or looking behind you. Don’t wait for someone else to make you feel proud. Recognize your achievements with a celebration of yourself.

There will always be setbacks and unexpected curve balls. The older we are, the more of them we have to point to. I don’t think you get used to them, but age does make you resilient and experience develops coping skills not found in youth.

Control has always been a big thing for me. When logic tells me I can’t control a situation (like losing my job) I have learned the small act of cleaning a closet or organizing a drawer will focus my attention on a task I can control. That brief period of time is enough to reset the goal posts and place external events in their proper place.

Age Brings Wisdom

I’ve acquired the wisdom that comes from living long enough to experience all of its highs and lows. My age is a reminder of the blessings I wake up with each morning.  I try to celebrate what is good, appreciate what has been given, and make an effort to give back. Age is the teacher that showed me the balance I need to make each day count for something; it offers reminders of accomplishments and encouragement to pursue dreams that remain.

If we use someone else’s rules to define who we are, how we measure our happiness or even what color our hair should be we are not living our best life. You’re never too old for that!

Be fearless and celebrate your age—whatever it may

This entry was posted in Spiritual, Susanne Skinner and tagged , , , , by Aline Kaplan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Aline Kaplan

Aline Kaplan is a published author, a blogger, and a tour guide in Boston. She formerly had a career as a high-tech marketing and communications director. Aline writes and edits The Next Phase Blog, a social commentary blog that appears multiple times a week at She has published over 1,000 posts on a variety of subjects, from Boston history to science fiction movies, astronomical events to art museums. Under the name Aline Boucher Kaplan, she has had two science fiction novels (Khyren and World Spirits) published by Baen Books. Her short stories have appeared in anthologies published in the United States, Ireland, and Australia. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston and lives in Hudson, MA.

3 thoughts on “Age is Just a Number

  1. Not only is age just a number, not all of us age at the same rate. People in their 60’s may look and act like those in their 90’s, while those in their 90’s are as active, energetic and involved as those in their 60’s. One thing is certain. To make it to an advanced age one must take care of the mind and body and maintain and cultivate new interests. Some one posted a comment about a sign in a doctor’s office that said: “Age is a privilege that some do not get to enjoy.” All of us need to remember that.

    • I like the one that says, “Getting old ain’t for sissies.” You have to be tough to make it to an advanced age and that means, as you said, Mary, taking care of the mind and the body. Also being resilient, choosing happiness and prioritizing love over anger. We have lost actors, musicians, rock stars and others who forgot that and passed on far younger than they should have. They serve as examples of what not to do if you want to live a long life.

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