The Age Issue: Potato Chips, Yoga and 60

This is like eating that entire bag of chips. You know you did it, you were there for every moment and yet it still comes as a shock when you reach in and the bag is empty. Yup, that is how I feel about turning 60 today. And, when people ask, what are you doing for your 60th, my response is I’m going grey. I have seen things, done stuff and been places. Easier said than done.

“Don’t you dare,” the words came out so fast and defiant, to my manager, I had to back off with “I mean, if I have a choice to opt out, I prefer nothing.” That was my response to a public recognition for my 35th work anniversary.  My best life financial plan requires me to work until at least 65. I felt like my peers, seeing a 35 anniversary, would think, she can retire, start rumors, someone would get it twisted (she can retire versus she wants to retire) and I’d be a target for layoffs. I went down a rabbit hole of anxiety and paranoia; brought on by the belief of an age bias skewed toward youth in my work place. Younger is better, let’s get rid of the old people. Why?

I have been doing yoga for 25 years; longer than some of my yoga teachers have been alive. In a class that puts demands on your body, you value people with experience in body types, anatomy, musculature to help you move in a way that is injury free while reaching your peak in a pose. It’s not a matter of young or old, it is expertise to be valued.

I am fearless in yoga. I got years, maybe decades in age on a lot of people in class, but I’ve seen things and I can do some stuff, watch. Bring it. For the last couple of months, I’ve taken that attitude at work, the one about, ultimately, value is in expertise. So bring it! I have seen things, done stuff and been places. I am balancing the perception of age with aging.  Give me that senior discount because I am more than you can imagine 60 could be, otherwise, keep that ageism.  I am 60, going grey and getting another bag of chips.


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