The other day, Emily Mckinley sent the Enough. women a great Dominique Browning article titled “I’m Too Old for This.” We all read it, pumping our fists and walking away feeling inspired and relieved. In the article, Browning talks about the liberating side of turning 60. She starts saying, “I’m too old for this.” She is too old to waste time and energy hating her body. She’s too old for office politics and doing work that isn’t fulfilling. She’s too old for toxic people, but never too old for new friends or desire.
I understand this is a natural process that can’t be rushed, this whole living into the age when you have earned the feeling of only doing the joyful, but do we need to wait for 60?
I just helped my friend celebrate his 40th, and he, being the oldest in the room, joked about this same freedom that came with age — you just don’t have to waste your time anymore because there is less time to waste. You have earned the right to say no, to shake the unhelpful, to say what needs to be said. How, then, can we have this “I’m too old for that” attitude at whatever age we are?
I have no idea where it came from, but when I was fairly young and had to make a big decision, I pretended like I had already lived my life through and this was my second go around. This make-believe grounded me and did something very similar to “I’m too old for this.” It helped me not waste time on self-hatred, self-deprecation, or self-defeating behavior. I pretended that I had made all the mistakes the first time around, learned from them, and was ready to get straight to the healthy decision the first time.
Whether the mantra is “I’m too old for this” or it’s pretending your living your life the second time over, isn’t it time to fearlessly embrace only the life-giving in life?