I love words. I love when they flow off my tongue AND mean something amazing – like the word serendipity. It means: “…the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way”. I don’t live my life by chance but I love that word (and the movie!).
The other day I received my state’s AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) 2017 Annual Review. I’ve been getting AARP stuff since I was in my late 40’s so I glanced at it and was going to toss it until I noticed the section entitled, “Disrupt Aging“.
This surprised me. The section stated that the woman who became CEO of AARP wants to change the perception of aging in America, “…to disrupt aging, we need to own our age.” Her points were valid in that we should get to the point where “…we are no longer defined by the old expectations of what we should or should not do at a certain age… disruptive aging, embracing our own aging.”
My surprise was her use of the word “disrupt”. Anyone who reads my posts here and my other sites, or knows me, knows that I am a huge proponent of words and their effect on our lives. Pretty much what we say is where we go, what we become, what we do (can vs cannot) – so to disrupt aging hit me as a very wrong thing – and word.
Google online dictionary says disrupt means: (1) to interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem.
(2) drastically alter or destroy the structure of (something).
I’m not sure but the use of the words “disrupt aging” seems more like saying that we need to stop aging – because that is the point of disrupting – to interrupt or suspend. To interrupt aging – well, that would mean you are dead, correct?
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I do understand what her point was – that we need to interrupt the way society perceives anyone over the age of 40. You know, to stop using words and sentences like “washed up, over the hill, antiquated, senile, obsolete, passé or past one’s prime, nothing left to contribute, oooold” and many other negative words.
But if you’ll pardon me, I do not plan to disrupt my aging. I plan to live long and strong, doing exactly what I want to. I really don’t care what society (and science) says about aging because they’ve been misusing words for YEARS about the passing of birthdays.
There are far, far too many people who have already kicked the perception of getting older (aging) by living life their own way, far past 50-60-70-80-90, and looking amazing doing so, energetic and athletic, and healthy and strong.
It does not surprise me that the generations raised in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s are out there kicking the perception of aging’s butt. They are generations of people who changed perceptions during wars, prejudice/bias to the right of women to earn the same pay as a man in the same job.
These are people out there living life, kicking the actuality of aging by simply living life to the fullest. Each one I’ve read about has a lot in common, taking care of their health (and skin) but most especially the use of words describing themselves. One thing they DO NOT DO is call themselves old or even make jokes about it.
They are careful to speak life. They are careful to speak positively. They are not as worried about changing society’s perception of aging so much as they are changing their own. Living boldly and completely.
So rather that disrupt our aging, why not just go out and live life to the fullest? We can watch our words and take good care of our health so we can be strong far past the age others call OLD.
If others have done this (and they have and are, every day), anyone can do this, no excuses.