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live life

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.

10 thoughts on “Words

  1. My good lady and I try to live each day to the full, spending our kids inheritance, and striving to keep mind & body active. And I agree, our words & stated expectations can become self-fulfilling. A thought-provoking post. Thank you.

    1. What’s funny is that I was thinking about your recent post when I was writing part of this – that poor man everyone thought was dead! It sparked the thought that what you and your wife chose to do after that was right on and so perfect!!!

    1. That is why I am NOT aging gracefully. I wasn’t doing it in my twenties so why should I do it now??? Grab it by the b… beard and shake it!! I believe these are the very best years ever!

  2. You’re right about the power of words, Nan. I think that instead of “disrupting” aging, we need to “personalize” aging. “Personalized medicine” is a thing now. It’s when physicians drill down so far as to analyze a patient’s DNA or a tumor’s DNA to determine what treatment would be most effective for a particular patient. It’s not one size fits all.

    By the time we hit AARP eligibility (which you’re right, does seem to be getting younger and younger), most of us have a pretty good handle on who we are, even if that includes wanting to make certain changes. We don’t need to be looking at what others our chronological age are doing and comparing ourselves to them. We should look within ourselves to personalize our own approach(es) to our own aging. For example, I’m not looking to jump out of an airplane. It was never on my list of things to do. I’m happy for other people my age who get a thrill by finally doing it, but, personally, it’s not my thing. On the other hand, there are things I want to do which have no appeal to others my age. Neither of us are aging incorrectly, we’re just personalizing our aging.

    1. I love your comments! I ALWAYS learn something from them. I look forward to them. And you’re right – we just need to personalize our aging. What Leland and I are doing others think we’re crazy. They think we should slow down – WHY?

  3. Hmm… you always inspire me to – pause – and really think. And you are absolutely correct … it’s not about disrupting the aging process … it’s about embracing the gift of living. Hugs to you my friend <3

    1. You’ve taught me a lot about embracing the gift of living. You’ve also taught me “NO EXCUSES” but to just go do it! I love being an inspiration to a woman who has inspired me so much.

  4. That would be like disassemble. Not dead.
    I am with you baybay. Live long and strong never looking back but looking for the next adventure.

    1. Well I’m not Johnny 5 but I am alive!! I can’t wait for this next adventure – so excited!! We always have SO much fun together!

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