Breaking The Age Boundary


This was written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill where today’s prompt was to write about anything to do with age.  I’ve been in a pretty dark, emotional place since I came back from North Carolina and my writing has definitely reflected it.  I feel I have finally made it out of the darkness and I was very happy to write something today that made me smile and made me feel inspired.  I hope you have a similar experience with it.

Breaking The Age Boundary

I believe the saying “You’re only as old as you feel”; in fact, I don’t believe a number defines anything about me except for how many years it has been since the day I was born.  I think there is far too much significance given to that pesky little number.

I’ve struggled almost my entire life with self-worth and feeling like I wasn’t as pretty or as skinny as other people.  Those thoughts have led me down some dark paths.  After my last child was born, I actually gained weight to the point that I was over 200 pounds – in fact I weighed more than I did when I was pregnant with all of my children.  There were reasons I subconsciously added weight, but I couldn’t see it at the time.  All I could see was that I was ugly.

In high school when I was at my smallest, I looked around me and felt inadequate.  I always felt like other girls were prettier, smaller, better at life.  It was a really poor self-image time in my life.

Today, I am 39 years old; I’m the happiest I think I’ve ever been in my life; I’m probably also the healthiest, most physically fit I’ve ever been in my life.  There are still times I look at my body and think it doesn’t quite cut it, but then, by whose standards am I judging it?  Should I judge it by the unrealistic ads we are bombarded with?  Should I judge it by what I think others think, or how others view me?  The best way I’ve found to judge it, for me, is to remember back when I was over 200 pounds and the one thought I had over and over:  “I just want to be a size 12 again.  If I could be a size 12, that would make me happy.”  Any time I start thinking I’m “fat” or “ugly” I remember that thought.

To get back to age after my slight detour into weight, I love breaking the unseen boundary that exists in society around age.  “You can’t do that, you’re too old.”  “You can’t do that, you’re too young.”  I think many of the issues parents have with teenagers centers around that pesky number and how a number defines adulthood in our society.  I think it is entirely ass backwards.  There are some grown “adults” I’ve know who acted exactly like ten year olds and there are some twelve year olds who are wise beyond their years.  So, how do we break out of it?  How do we stop seeing people with an imaginary number over their head that defines them for us in so many ways?

I’ve always tried to see beyond the number.  If my kid acts like a two year old, I will treat him or her that way.  If he acts like a twenty year old, I will treat him or her that way.  I don’t just assume because my son is 14 that he couldn’t possibly know more than me because I’ve lived so many more years than him.  Does that help?  Yes.  Have I gained life experience and just plain experienced more than he has?  Absolutely!  But that doesn’t mean he is any less just because he’s 14.  He has feelings and dreams and aspirations.  He is learning more in school right now than I’ve probably learned in the past year.  To put it into perspective, when I was his age, I remember thinking my parents were stupid.  I actually thought I was smarter than they were.  Now, whether that was the case or not, I don’t know, but I remember thinking that and it helps guide my actions in caring for my teenagers.   Our children are human beings.  They aren’t just a number.  I think it would serve us all well to remember that when dealing with them.

What I truly set out to say is that I am happier and more grounded in my life in this moment than I ever have been.  I have so many things to be grateful for.  I have three beautiful children who love me and interact with me.  I am in a loving, healthy relationship with an amazing man.  I have a job that pays the bills and a roof over my head.  I am also free to do the things I love – running, yoga, writing and reading a fabulous book.  I’m in a really good place and it’s only taken me 39 years to get here.  I’m hoping for more, but honestly, we aren’t guaranteed another day.  Life really is too short to spend it worried about age or weight or if I’m prettier or not prettier than that woman over there.

Before I started writing this post, I was washing my hands in the bathroom and I looked in the mirror and truly honestly felt that I was beautiful.  I feel like there was a light shining through my eyes that I haven’t seen for much of my life, but I’m so grateful I’ve found it and it shines through.

Age doesn’t have any bearing on happiness or giving love and respect to yourself.  It doesn’t have any bearing on how you treat other people.  Or at least it shouldn’t.  And that is my message for today.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and remember that you are beautiful, no matter how old you are; no matter how many pounds the scale shows you; no matter where you are at in life, life is beautiful and absolutely worth living!



20 thoughts on “Breaking The Age Boundary

  1. This definitely was inspiring — thank you for this reminder to “see beyond the number.” I love that wording; it highlights how arbitrary age really is. It’s just a number. A digit! Why get crazy over it? Let’s not do that to ourselves; there’s enough stress in life at times without adding more on to ourselves! 🙂


    • Thanks for stopping by and for commenting. I’ve felt that way about age for a while now. It’s crazy to me how much significance we put into it, when really it matters least of all. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We were very much on the same wavelength this week. And that sudden feeling of being beautiful? I’ve had that more than once, these last few years. To me, it seems to be coming out from within – the happiness and a life I live with intention and purpose…it has little to do with my physical appearance, and a whole lot to do with ME.

    And about treating all people in accordance with actions and abilities, rather than based on an arbitrary age…OH YES!!!! My kids have never gone to school, and, for years now, they reveal knowledge I didn’t have on very near a daily basis. I may be older and have more years of life experience – but that doesn’t preclude them having more knowledge and experience than I in any particular area (my son is big into lifehacking and technology, and my daughter is a blossoming fashion maven, and both are far more well-versed in those and many other areas than I am. Around here, where passions and interest and nature are the reasons for learning, the playing field is level, and we all have our areas to shine, no matter our ages.

    This is a lovely post. And I’m glad the darkness is lifting, for you.


    • I felt weird typing that part about feeling beautiful because I don’t consider myself narcissistic in any way, but it was exactly as you described. More a light from within shining outward than physical appearance.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with your children. It always serves to reinforce my own convictions. For too long I have felt like a single voice speaking out against the madness when everyone else is still stuck in mainstream ways of thinking. It really is refreshing to hear that others have similar views on the matter.


      • I know what you mean about beauty. I was raised to believe that finding beauty in yourself (or, really, making mention of any positive trait) was conceited and the mark of a lesser person.

        Which was an oddly superior and narcissistic view, when I think about it…

        But we are all beautiful, and there seems to me to be more wrong with NOT claiming our unique version and offering it back to the world than there is in doing so.

        I AM beautiful. I can be remarkable. I have taken fracturings and tragedies in my life, delved for understanding and some meaning there, and shared them with the world. I’ve made my own life, my family’s lives, and others’ lives better. I’ve talked and I’ve listened. I’ve learned to open to myself and others. I’ve learned to open, and to protect myself when needed.

        We live a beautiful life here. Perfect? No – not life is. But there is something about it that definitely seems to be missing in mainstream parenting. I’m guessing you know what I mean by that – and pretty sure there are parents who wouldn’t understand it at all.

        It’s my hope, in sharing it, that I’ll connect to others like you, who live similar family lives, But, also, I hope to connect with others who live differently, and offer them glimpses into another way of being, because it seems that there’s a lot of unnecessary stress and struggle in many families – and maybe some bits of what I’m offering will help them to find more of that ease and beauty.

        I do think it makes for a better world to raise children happily and with respect.

        Thank you for sharing. I’m glad to have met you, and I think you might be surprised how very many of us there are, scattered in the most unexpected places. =)


      • I’m constantly surprised and amazed to read your comments and your blog and to see how very similar our views are. I was raised in a very similar manner in that there wasn’t a very clear line drawn between loving yourself and conceit. It’s been a long journey to find that they are two very different things. I have tried to change my parenting in a way that doesn’t repeat past patterns, even though it isn’t a perfect science. The best thing I can do is to just remember that my children are beings and to treat them as such, rather than a burden, or “young” or not as intelligent as me.

        Thank you for your thoughtful comments and for opening my eyes to a whole “world” of people who share similar beliefs and ideas. I look forward to our continued friendship. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I feel the same things when I read at your blog. And yes, there are more of us…scattered, to be sure, but we’re out here, shifting patterns, and learning new ways of being…

        It certainly isn’t an exact science, and I don’t always meet my own expectations. But then, my kids don’t expect me to be perfect, and I don’t expect anyone else to be, either, so I’m learning to cut myself some slack, too…and not to let the failures sabotage my confidence or my commitment to continuing to learn and grow.

        I find our friendship rich and inspiring. One of my favorite things about blogging (and writing), is meeting people who resonate with my values and beliefs the way you do. May this find you happily engaged in just what you want to be engaged in, beautiful lady! =D


  3. What an awesome inspiring post. Thanks for the reminder that we are beautiful and we can change if we want to. Life really is to short not to do the things we want to do and be who we want to be.
    Thanks sweet girl.


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