not just death and taxes are inevitable

Growing older is inevitable.

Growing older is inevitable. and not altogether a bad thing

 As I approached the writing of this post, I considered number one on my list of things that you shouldn’t have to wait until you are fifty to learn  : growing older is inevitable (refer to Things Learnt  page),.  I thought that a good way to hook a reader might by the use of a witty quote about the inevitability of aging. A quick Google search  came up one with quote that seemed to be repeated web wide : growing older is inevitable, but growing up is optional.

 Now that hooked me, but I suspect not in the way the original creator would have thought. Growing older is inevitable, but growing up is optional.  Really?

 My impulse is to disagree.  Growing up is not optional. Society and our own growing expectations force it upon us.  We push the envelope, tear at the bit, and want, want, want; a natural progression of the species in a way.  Well, at least in a consumer based society.

 Growing up has an obvious emphasis on behaviour.  The Peter Pan myth shows us what happens to people who refuse to grow up; Michael Jackson its latest victim.  May I add Michael Jackson and I were born the same year.  As was Madonna. You do the math.  The connotation is that we need to remain young at heart, hug our wonderment and awe tightly to our thoughts and actions, and live in the moment. Not always easy though is it?

 Who can escape days when family issues, health issues or work issues don’t have us curled in the fetal position under our doonas? More than one day I retreated in my pajamas to my bed, clutching the jelly baby lolly jar to my chest as I watched an endless news cycle, confirming my worst fears that the world was indeed wrong, wrong, wrong, damn you! The terms doona day, or mental health day, have not crept into our society for nothing.  Hard to be carefree on such days, isn’t it?

 But you know what? I don’t have to be carefree every day. I know I won’t be, and only a fool would be surprised that we don’t live in a movie perfect world.  My rider there is that I don’t want too many bad days, but I accept a few before wailing.

 Growing older comes to the rescue in such times I have found. After a day or two, my hard won experience and wisdom clicks in and I get back on the treadmill, refreshed in a way, just because I know that this time will end. One day after another, time will change things if I just work with it. It mightn’t be what I choose to happen to me, but damn it, I can choose how I handle it.

 I pity the young. They haven’t had the chance to grow up, to build resilience, or to consider that they are enough just the way they are. Older people have weathered the storm and are more comfortable in their own skins.  Maturity gives one the power to say, hey this is me, and I like me, and I am enough!

 Growing older is inevitable, and what a gift that is!


  Happy days,

Flamingo Dancer.

self-medication of choice - giant jelly babies!

16 thoughts on “not just death and taxes are inevitable

  1. Excellent post FD! I really like what you had written here below:

    “Growing up has an obvious emphasis on behaviour. The Peter Pan myth shows us what happens to people who refuse to grow up; Michael Jackson its latest victim. May I add Michael Jackson and I were born the same year. As was Madonna. You do the math. The connotation is that we need to remain young at heart, hug our wonderment and awe tightly to our thoughts and actions, and live in the moment. Not always easy though is it?

    I never thought of it this before but you are absolutely right.


    • I think for the very reason that Jackson and Madonna are the same age as me, that I have used them as role models for people who find ageing difficult, people who for all their career success, were never happy in their own skins. A what not to do for me. However, they have also been role models that we can redefine ageing, and don’t have to accept the sterotyping of past eras.
      For me, slowing my life down, when I can, allows me to rediscover the wonderment and awe. To do that I don’t have to dessert my family and go live alone for a year. They can join me every step of the way, and do.


    • I have more than one friend who would say the same. Some adults make shit parents and there is no way around that truth. Some kids are born way below the level playing field, and that stinks. That life is fair is one of the biggest myths there is, and only when we start admitting that will things start to improve.


      • I don’t believe life is fair; might know better than most. Most people weren’t getting raped age 2 throughout childhood.

        Level doesn’t come close; however, “levels” are what we’ve got. I rise to the best I can on any given day. My brother does the best he can and I’m sure everybody else is doing, too.


  2. This is a fantastic post, FD! I completely agree with you! I am completely comfortable with my about-to-turn-55 self and I love being this age! I had some tough times with getting older in my mid-40s….one of those “crisis” type things…but I am so glad I didn’t make any crazy decisions, weathered those crisises (how in the world do you spell plural crisis?) at least and am marching onward to whatever is coming!

    I still enjoy awe at the miracle of the universe, and always and forever will have a dark and twisted sense of humor! w00t!


    • I think I coped with my forties because I was studying and achieving degrees, so that gave me a sense of achievement that was mine alone. Updating my skills made me remain current with technology and trends and I think that helped me to stay progressing with society. To me, watching my Mum and Sister slip beyond such knowledge bases makes me realise how easy it is to get left behind, and become socially isolated and that is never a recipe for happiness.


  3. I remember seeing that quote recently and thinking how miserable it would to be the one cleaning up after the irresponsible flibbergibbit. It seems sometimes that being responsible just isn’t “cool”. Ah well, I’ve never been one of the “cool” kids. Growing up shouldn’t have to mean growing stale.


    • I always find people who refuse to accept maturity so boring. Some of the most interesting people I have ever met have been “older” as they have a life to share. Never let go of curiosity I say!


  4. I totally get were you are coming from. Though – I find it also a sad fact that “not growing up” is equated with “being irresponsible”. (not from your side, but I can tell from some of the comments 😉 ) Since one not necessarily has something to do with the other. Me personally I am pretty juvenile, maybe even childish at times. Definitely young in my mind, because it feels sometimes that I haven’t progressed much after 22, and surely young at heart.
    But responsible I am. To such a degree that I have to take a good grip around my neck once in a while and tell myself to lighten up and relax.


    • Yes, responsiblily and discipline can hamper the good things in our lives. It is indeed a fine line to know when to cross to either side of that line, but that is part of the maturity process isn’t it? Responsibility in that what we do doesn’t impact negatively on others is the main thing I think.


  5. As I’ve turned into an adult I’ve learned there’s a big difference between child-like and childish. Always strive to be child-like, but avoid being childish! Young at heart is a great thing, young of mind…not so much.


    • The positive elements of childhood, such as the wonderment and awe that we see everyday in a child’s life is what we need to maintain all our lives. It takes work though because it is much easier to tear down and criticise than to examine and enjoy!


  6. I agree with Lauri FD, this is an excellent post. Choosing to “not grow up” means ignoring all the wonderful benefits of maturity and seeking to understand what makes us and our universe “tick”.
    It also pleases me to read that you endorse the idea that we need to slow down our hectic lifestyles in order to achieve this process. (well mine’s hardly hectic any more….I think I went to the other extreme)

    Also like your thoughts about not living in a perfect world. It took me a long time to appreciate that occasional days of feeling blue are necessary to really feel good about the remainder.

    This has given me something to think about today. Thanks FD.


    • I have always thought that the “peter pans” have always tried to have their cake and eat it too – sorry about the use of so many chiches – they want the good things about being an adult, but don’t want to have to give up the benefits of childhood either. Someone else always has to do the hardwork in their wake.


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