There are many laws regarding age including the age to drive, vote, and drink, but there are also many age restrictions that society places on us, or that we place on ourselves. You have to decide which ones you think are valid, and which ones you should break through. Here is a short list of these age restrictions.
Being too old to have children
I hear women in their early thirties saying that they will be too old in a year or two to have children. Everyone’s situation is different, but I also thought of the thirties as the perfect time to have children. I was still trying to figure life out in my twenties, become comfortable in my career, and grow my relationship with my husband. I had two children in my early thirties, and then I had a third when I was 43. I felt strongly that the time was right to have one more, but every time I asked someone what she thought, I was told it was a terrible idea. This was an example for me of a time when you should listen to your own instincts because my daughter Katie is the light of my life, and while I watched many people become empty nesters, I still have her for a few more years with me, and I am enjoying every minute.
I would advise people to think first about your health and your financial ability to care for a child. A certain age can be completely different for people, so check with your doctor.
Thinking you are too young or old to be taken seriously
Many people think younger people don’t know much because they haven’t had enough of a chance to learn life experience, but that is a huge mistake because every person you meet has something to teach us. Unfortunately, I have seen younger people assume that someone older struggles with anything related to technology, or that they are mentally slow. Everyone deserves our respect, especially the elderly who have lived a long life, and might need some extra time, but they have so much to offer. My personal pet peeve is when I am checking out at a store, and before I even have a chance to complete the pin pad, the young clerk starts telling me what to do. We should break through our assumptions about age.
Dressing age appropriately
My daughters refuse to let me shop in any store that looks like it caters to older women, but I also will not wear certain things that I don’t think a 64-year-old woman should wear, but of course that is a personal choice for everyone. I just think there is a certain age when a bare midriff doesn’t look the same anymore.
Being too old to start something new
There are certain activities that some people think of as activities for younger people. I think you should do whatever you enjoy doing. I started karate at 45, and continued training for eight years. My sensei was always trying to age shame me, but I was enjoying myself too much to care. I started learning guitar at sixty-two, and I am loving it! Don’t let your age hold you back from something you would love to try.
Being too old to relate to the younger generation
As I became older, I was worried that I would become too old for my students to relate to me. It didn’t help when I heard people saying that they hope some of the new hires would be younger so they would bring life, and energy to teaching. I don’t think age necessarily affects how well you can do a job.
I had a funny situation at a recent race. I was standing with my friend Sally looking at the results monitor. I had just explained to a young woman next to me how to read the monitor because she was looking in the wrong place, but I don’t think she listened to me. There’s Nothing Holding Me Back was playing and I said to Sally, “I love this song!” The young woman said with surprise, “You like this song?” I said, “You don’t?” She said, “Oh, I do like it.” I said, “So why did you say that like it was weird that I liked it?” She said, “Well, I find the older I get, the more I like younger music.” I said, “Are you calling me old?” Sally said, “We can beat you up you know.” (She was kidding!) We both started laughing. Bless that woman’s heart.
Being afraid of age shaming
Age shaming works both ways, and again, don’t listen to other people’s comments. Do what you love. I was on the porch knitting one day when my neighbor’s daughter said, “See mom, that’s going to be you.” Whether it matters or not, comments like that hurt. I love to ride my bike around the neighborhood, but I’m always thinking that someone might think I’m too old to do that.