We’ve all heard it before: “I’m too old to do this” or “You’re too old for that” or “We shouldn’t do it ‘cuz we are too old”. What is your take? Do you think being too old is an excuse for things? And what age is too old? Well I asked this question to my Snapfam commUNITY and got an overwhelming response.
Before I share the Snapchat comments, I just want to encourage YOU, the reader to join in the conversation. Please feel free to post a comment below and let me know your thoughts on this notion of being “too old” for things. And for those wondering why I am so interested in this whole concept I will share a bit of back story for you.
I am 53 years young and pretty open about sharing my age with anyone who cares to know. I realize society is in a current paradigm shift with regard to inclusion. In fact my dear friend Dr. Stacy Smith is leading the way with her groundbreaking research into the discrepancies in hiring and pay gaps for women and minorities (I was blessed to work with her on some of the early research projects). In my own way, I try to shine the light on this issue in the culinary world by hosting my weekly Woman Crush Wednesday episode.
Ageism is a thing, and maybe it too might be the subject of a research project. I had the good fortune of being featured in an award winning Mc Donald’s commercial which premiered during the Super Bowl. The premise was about a retired man who went back to work at a Mc Donald’s. And the man who played the lead role was a retired bee farmer from Oregon. He had never acted before in his life and was in his 80s! So I saw first hand how exhilarating it was for this one individual to try a new skill and discover a talent even he didn’t know he had!
Often people in society are considered washed up at a certain point. Beyond lying about your age, people feel pressure to look younger and to counteract the signs of aging some go to great lengths with costly and painful plastic surgery. I have shared openly on here about my feelings on plastic surgery and luckily have not succumbed to cultural expectations to look a certain way. In fact I don’t even feel 53, nor have I ever felt any age to be honest. I’ve always just felt like ME, whether I was 10, 20, 30 whatever. I get that life is temporary, and I even wrote a blog post about how I’ve outlived my parents. But the truth is I feel no age at all, I feel eternal.
So you can imagine my surprise when one day I asked my husband why is it that we don’t French kiss anymore and he said, “We are too old to French kiss, that is just gross”. It got me to thinking about why people use age as an excuse to NOT do certain things. Some think they are too old to get a college degree, to wear certain clothes, to learn a new skill etc, etc. In fact, using the excuse “I’m too old” has become such a part of the vernacular, there is even a funny You Tube compilation of the all the film clips with this quote. If you want a laugh, you gotta check it out!
Below, I’m going to share the Snapchat messages I received from the good fine folks of the Snap CommUNITY! A massive thank you to each and every one who responded! I asked the question: Do you think it is possible to be TOO OLD to do something and if so, what would that be? Some people sent audio or video snap messages so I can’t include those, but the overwhelming majority response was that age should NOT limit a person! The upshot, there is no “too old” however one might not be physically or mentally able to do certain things.
In fact, I’ve known people who are in their 20s who are not physically able to do activities like skydiving due to early onset arthritis. Yet they are the ones who often push themselves to try things like skydiving by doing a tandem jump with someone who is physically able. And while another person might get dementia in their 30s and aren’t able to attend university due to cognitive limitations, there are some who are getting college degrees when they are 90 years old. Therefore, chronological age isn’t the number one factor which should determine whether someone can participate in certain activities or achieve certain goals.
These next three and final responses have special significance as they are from dear Snapchat friends who deal daily with health issues. Yet they continue to live life to the fullest extent possible! They inspire me every day!
It is true that we can be too young for things, in fact the law dictates that. Too young to get a license to drive, too young to drink alcohol, one can even be too young to be elected president of the United States. The United States Constitution states a person must be 35 years or older to be elected president, however there is no upper age limit. For trivia junkies, the oldest U.S. president was Ronald Reagan, who was 77 at the time he completed his second term in 1988! And while some may think a person is too old to wear certain clothes, get a tattoo, or French Kiss, it would seem that the majority of people I’ve talked to feel that there is no such thing as “TOO OLD!”