How To Stay Young Until You Die Without Dying Young

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by Melody Fletcher on October 13, 2011

As many of you may know, I recently came back from a trip to the U.S., where I had the opportunity to spend some real quality time with two very special little gentlemen. No, I did NOT hit the midget convention in Las Vegas; I’m talking about my two adorable nephews. I love spending time with kids. I study them, soaking up every detail I can about how they view things. I’m convinced that kids are our greatest teachers. They remember how to be happy, and I do my best to crawl inside their little heads and get me some of that.

So, like Jane Goodall with the monkeys, I tried to blend into the gooey, slimy, farty world that is the habitat of the average, American little boy and gain their trust. The purchase of a remote controlled helicopter helped (I suspect Jane may have done something similar with a rope and an old tire.) I’m not sure if they ever really accepted me as one of their own, but they never once threw their poo at me, which, I believe, is more than Jane can say. More importantly, I took away many, many lessons, one of which, I’m going to share with you today.

Children know how to be young. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Duh, Melody. It may seem redundant, but stay with me: Age is nothing but a mindset. Sure, you’re going to move through time, and you’re going to get older – chronologically. You’re going to have responsibilities like a job, a house, a girlfriend or wife and maybe even a kid. But you don’t HAVE TO really ever grow up (at least not completely anyway), and you certainly don’t have to get old. Ever.

I’ve met people in their 20′s who were old. They went to a job that they hated every day, came home exhausted, sat down on the couch, bitched about how crap everything is and waited for the sweet release of death. They had no energy, no interests, no passions, no joy, no giddiness, and no playfulness. They acted like you might expect an old, tired man to act. I’ve also met incredibly inspiring people in their 60′s, 70′s, 80′s and even 90′s who were young (I’ve yet to meet a young person who is over 100, but I know they exist). I don’t mean that they were young at heart or some bullshit like that. I mean, these people had more energy than I did, could’ve probably outrun and outfoxed me in the event of a Zombie attack, cracked jokes, continuously found new and interesting things to try, lived their lives with passion, and truly enjoyed every single day. While backpacking through Europe, I met a fellow backpacker, a woman in her late 60′s, who had just come back from walking the entire Camino de Santiago de Compostela. That’s over 500 miles! This is a feat I have yet to accomplish, although I plan to only do much less than that and start on the Spanish side of the mountains, because I’m too goddam lazy to drag myself across the Pyrenees. I met a woman in her 70′s who was traveling the world. She had no fear of falling down and breaking her hip. She had a ton of fantastic and funny stories to tell (I actually really want to be this woman when I’m 70. And 80. And 120). Seniors are running marathons, learning how to ski, starting businesses, going to Yoga class, learning Kung-Fu, and generally doing anything and everything they want. Well, some of them are – those that don’t think that they’re too old for such shenanigans.

Age is a mindset

If some chronologically “young” people are actually old and some chronologically “old” people are actually young, then our date of birth or number of wrinkles clearly don’t have to determine how old we truly are. We can all stay young forever, we just have to remember how. And who better to teach us than those who seem to remember best: little kids.

Kids know how to be young

When I watched my nephews and other children, as well, I noticed that they embody certain qualities that we’ve associated with youth:

  • They have the ability to enjoy themselves under almost all conditions. Kids can have fun with a shoebox. They don’t care (unless they’ve been taught to) what other people think. They’ll play cops and robbers in the supermarket, or turn the handrail at church into a slide.
  • They live completely and totally in the moment. Kids don’t worry about tomorrow (we do, and we try to get them to, but they generally don’t give a crap.) They’re infinitely impatient. It’s all about the NOW. How can I have fun NOW? What can I do NOW? And when they find something that interests them, they are completely and totally immersed in that subject. They shut out the rest of the world, thoughts of homework, even food, and focus so completely on their game and their enjoyment that everything else ceases to exist for them.
  • They are interested in new things. Kids are always learning. This isn’t because they’re new models and their brains aren’t full yet (which would be the conclusion of the “too old to learn new tricks” paradigm). They’re interested in everything around them. They see the newness of it. Even when they look at something they’ve seen before, they discover a new angle, a new way to see it. They can be fascinated by an ant, a butterfly, or even a blade of grass. They read voraciously (or ask tons of questions) and soak up any bit of information they can on the subjects they find interesting. And these subjects are always changing. They’re never done.
    Ever.

Why aren’t you married yet?!

If you’ve been feeling old lately, it’s not entirely your fault. Ok, it totally is, but I’m going to let you off the hook anyway, because I know that you may be subjected to a ton of pressure from those around you and if you weren’t conscious of this pressure, it may have been nearly impossible for you to stay objective on this.

Most of us grew up in an environment of expectation. By 18 months, you should be walking. By 24 months, you should be talking. By 5, you should know how to read. By 16, you should be prepping for college. By 22, you should be done with school, get a job, marry your high school sweetheart, get a house, a dog and start thinking about making babies. The authority figures around you (parents, grandparents, other assorted relatives, teachers, doctors, neighbors, people on TV, magazines, newspapers, the media in general…) have all these deadlines and if you dare to miss any of them, bad, bad things await you. The people that love you use these deadlines to assure themselves that you’re going to be ok. They want you to be happy and they figure that if you follow the right path, you’ll have the highest possible chance of getting there. Except, they only know one path – the one they were taught to follow with the promise that it would lead them to happiness. The fact that it often didn’t seems to escape them now. This is the safe path, the secure path, and anything that deviates from it is scary as hell. For them.

And this is why I got 2 emails in one week, one from a 24 year old and one from a 26 year old, asking me to help them because at their age they’re running out of time to get it all together. Sheesh. Kids today!

Meeting responsibilities vs. growing up

When I tell people that I don’t believe that we ever have to grow up, their response is usually something like “We have to. What would you have people do? Live with their moms for the rest of their lives?” What they don’t get is that I never meant that people shouldn’t become responsible. I don’t live with my mom. I pay my bills every month. I have insurance. I clean my house, wash my clothes, manage to dress myself, eat incredibly well, maintain a variety of personal and professional relationships and even managed to not only hold down but totally excel at a number of jobs across four industries. And I refuse to grow up. In fact, I have gotten quite a bit younger in the last two years. I was so intent on hitting those deadlines (mine were more self-imposed though) that at 19, I was actually more like 45. Now, my age depends on how I feel that day. On some days, I start the day off as a Chai tee sipping 26 year old, then drink my raw chocolate berry smoothie with the joy of a 7 year old, switch to 30 while I call my bank and pick up some groceries, become a 12 year old while I stand in line and imagine all the people around me doing the Mambo (naked), write a blog post as a 29 year old, occasionally dip back to 11 to come up with some juvenile jokes, go have a drink with a friend at 33 (I’d go younger but I would regret it the next day), get a total giggle attack as 10 year old me, and finally fall into bed as a 60 year old, only to wake up and do it all again. In other words, I have the ability to morph into any age, depending on what the situation calls for. I do tend to avoid the teenage years. They’re entirely too pimply and angsty for me.

Being responsible is not the same as growing up and certainly not the same as growing old. “Growing Up” in our society often means no longer taking the time to really enjoy life. You don’t have time for that. You’re a grown up, now. It means caring more about what society or other people think than you do, so that you’ll slot into pre-defined boxes just to make them happy (or to shut them up). You can’t afford the luxury of being happy. You’re a grown up now. It means taking care of others (even if those others are your boss, your friends, your spouse and other assorted adults), before you take care of yourself. That’s what grownups do. They bite the bullet and do what has to be done. It means no longer having permission to be silly, to have giggle attacks, to fart in public (ok, that last one isn’t such a bad thing), or to simply daydream. That’s not appropriate for a grown up. What’s wrong with you? Silly rabbit! Happiness is for kids!

Except it’s not. And that’s the point of this whole post: You can get back that child like wonder, that ability to enjoy yourself anywhere and anytime, that ability to be happy. You can become young again, no matter what your age, and you can stay young until you die, no matter how long you live.

Start growing younger now

  • Find a new way to look at an old situation. While driving to work, instead of zoning out and going into auto-pilot, really notice your surroundings. Look at the buildings and the billboards. Notice the other drivers. Now, resist the urge to bitch about them. Look for good things, silly things, things that make you laugh. Make up funny stories about the other drivers or pedestrians. Sing a silly song. What would your kids do?
  • The next time you’re standing in line at the bank or the grocery store, instead of hating every second of it, just decide to smile and be happy. Be the happy dork. I do it all the time. I’m sure the people around me wonder what the hell I’m so happy about. Maybe they think I’m brain damaged. But you know what? Some of them smile back.
  • Be in the moment. Be totally present. The activity doesn’t matter. You could be doing the dishes or a financial report. You could be soaking up the sun or looking at a ladybug. Be present in that moment. Notice every detail. Notice how you feel.
  • Learn something new. Read a book that looks interesting, even if, or especially if, it’s on a subject you know NOTHING about. Go take a class. Get the old noggin’ moving. Doing the same thing every day will make you old.
  • Travel. Get out of your comfort zone. Give your brain some completely new surroundings to chew on. Be childlike when you visit new places. Marvel at everything you see. Look for the beauty and the newness. Soak it up. Don’t go to France and eat a Hamburger. Try new foods and have new experiences. You might not like everything you try, but then you’ll have some funny stories to tell.
  • Seek out and collect adventures. Life isn’t about collecting stuff, it’s about having experiences. Even just planning a trip will change your outlook. The preparation and the looking forward to it will get you excited weeks or even months before the actual travel date. You don’t have to run off to China. Plan a hiking trip for the weekend.
  • Make a bucket list and start checking things off. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go skydiving. Learn how to Salsa. Learn flower arranging or bungee jumping. Volunteer at the old folks home, like you’ve always wanted to. Do one thing a week or one thing a month, but do it. New experiences and surroundings help our brains stay young and keep us excited about life.

Young people live. Grownups exist. Stop being such a freaking grownup already, will you?

How do you stay young? What life lessons have you learned from observing children? Have you adopted any of them? Share in the comments!

Image Credit: This is an actual 92 year old South African Woman, skydiving for the first time! http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200704/17/eng20070417_367124.html

{ 51 comments }

Mary Carol October 13, 2011 at 23:08

Thanks Melody. Woohoo!

Maybe I’m living proof of your thesis. I’m 60, and this year I’ve moved to Mexico, taken up salsa dancing, started learning wood sculpture (first stone sculpture begun last week), taken two levels of Reiki training, speak Spanish just about all the time, practice yoga every day, and plan to have an equally fun time for the rest of my hopefully very long life. My kids are relieved and happy to have a incredibly joyful mom.

I lived a routine life in the US and Canada, working full-time in a stressful job (teaching high school for over 30 years), single parent with two daughters, usually not quite enough money. When I was 40, I got sick and changed my life. Less work, started writing novels and poetry, but I didn’t learn the lesson, started working too much again, got even sicker, and then quit everything! Whew!

The one thing I will say for sticking with a conventional job is that I LOVE getting a pension check every month (trust me, it’s not huge, but it’s enough). After three years, I still can hardly believe it. I also had the advantage of truly enjoying working with teens, stress and all.

Last thought from the “old geezer”: If you think you’ll start being happy tomorrow (when you have ____________), you won’t. The best way to be happy tomorrow is to be happy today. Like Melody says, find the little stuff that gives you joy, and enjoy the heck out of it.

Nuff said, Namaste and hugs to all,

Mary Carol
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Derrek October 14, 2011 at 05:25

You, Mary Carol, are very cool. And I’m only 24 so I have the right to say what’s cool and what’s not (because I’m an in-tune hipster like that), and I say that you’re very cool for doing what you do. I now bestow you with the knighthood of being cool. From hereon you are Lady Awesome Sauce. You’re welcome, Mary.

Mary Carol October 14, 2011 at 05:51

Thanks Derrek! I always enjoy reading your comments.

Lady A.S.
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Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 19:38

Lady Awesome Sauce,

Yes, Yes, Yes! This is exactly what I’m talking about. Thank you for being such a shining example of someone who’s really living life. And you’re so right: People that are engaged in their lives, didn’t start being that way when they retire. They were always like that, at 20, 30, 40 and beyond. So, whatever age we are, NOW is the time to start living the lives we want. Use it or lose it, people. ;)

Huge hugs,
Melody

P.S: I think Derrek may have adopted you…
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Mary Carol October 14, 2011 at 22:57

reply to PS: or vice versa, with pleasure
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Cathy | Treatment Talk October 14, 2011 at 02:23

Hi Melody,

Love your post. We can be as young as we let ourselves. I feel better now than I did in my 20′s. I think we were trying to find our place in the world during our 20′s and later in life I’ve learned to live for the moment and enjoy it. As they say, life is not a dress rehearsal.

Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 19:41

Hi Cathy,

Thanks for the validation! I think in our 20′s, we tend to take life way too seriously. We’re still figuring out who we are. The 30′s are often “productive”, when we have kids and the like. People can feel a bit trapped by that. Or, they begin to relax into the knowledge of who they are and what they want. I’ve heard that each decade after that just gets better (I realize not for everyone, but I hang out with the awesome crowd, so…) You just get more and more secure. Now, imagine following that path deliberately? I do. All the time. :)

Hugs!
Melody
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Derrek October 14, 2011 at 06:10

Ah, just the post I’ve been waiting for! Thank you, Melody! I have never been one to worry about age until recently. I’ve caved to the pressure a little. Thanks for clearing up so much. I’m gonna’ get back on track starting…..now. :)

I’ve consciously ‘stayed young’ throughout my life by always living in a way that makes me happy and lighthearted. For example, I took a year-long break after highschool and did absolutely nothing because it was the holiday kids dream about all through school. I wanted that “everlasting” holiday so bad, and I took it. I love doing stuff like that, even though people say it’s a waste of time.

It’s only recently that I’ve begun to have internal conflicts about age when I see practically everyone around me seemingly settling-down in life. I’m not sure if the look on their faces is the look of a happy person or a complacent one. Either way, the last year or so has given me its fair share of fears and insecurities, and it has taken its toll on the way I look at myself. You’d be surprised at the weird stares I get when the guy sitting on the desk next to me is busy on his online banking page during break-time, and I’m either on collegehumor.com or watching my favorite muppet, Pepe The King Prawn, on YouTube.

Anyway, all of that is going to change. Thanks again for the post. I’m going to filter through my psyche and get rid of all that unwanted “grow up and be dull as a bucket of grey paint” bullcrap, and come sunrise tomorrow I’m going to stop being confused and just be 24 again. I’m sure the rest will fall into place. It’s gonna’ be an awesome Saturday!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to get rid of all the porn *cough cough* I mean … viruses…on my office PC. They’re not mine! The viruses I mean. Or the porn. Not that there’s any porn, but if there were, they’re not mine. A virus put those pictures of Scarlett Johansson there. Really.

Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 19:52

You realize that there are people out there who are reading that you’re 24 and that you’ve “stayed young” who just want to beat you with their canes, right? He, he. Seriously though, I do get that this kind of pressure can kick in at any age. Even an 18 year old can feel like he’s running out of time (many do, actually).

Have the Muppets and porn been mentioned in the same conversation before? Muppets + Porn = Muppetporn. I cannot be the first to think of that. If I am, I want a cut of the undoubtedly ginormous profits. You just know there’s a whole generation of young men who grew up fantasizing about Miss Piggy. Totally, horribly messed up young men…

What were we talking about again? Oh yeah. Scarlett Johansson is hot. And you’re not old. Unless you think you are. Geezer. ;)

Hugs!
Melody
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Derrek October 15, 2011 at 08:44

Haha, trust me, I know…and I felt really, really silly typing that part out, but I had to because it does become a struggle at times. When you’re surrounded by people who want to “finish growing” as soon as possible, it’s hard remembering that you’re only [insert age]. People who go apes**t bonkers when they don’t have a kid at 25. True story of a friend of mine. Another wants two kids before she’s 30. Maybe that’s what I have to work on; attracting better, less rushy people. New post, please? ;)

Also, my childhood was heavily-influenced by the muppets. Now I’ll never see them the same way again. Never before has something so innocently awesome been mixed with…porn. Thanks a lot. I’m going to go into my room and cry my eyes out now.

Melody Fletcher October 15, 2011 at 16:40

Just because some people have set themselves targets on when they must reproduce, make VP, whatever, doesn’t mean that YOU have to take on their deadlines. Figure out what’s important to you right NOW, and just go do that. There’s no need to take on anyone else’s stress.

And let me get this straight: You’re willing to spend the afternoon crying over the muppets and you’re worried about getting old? Yeah… I think you’re fine, kiddo. I’m certain that the muppets never did any porn. Any results that a google search for Muppetporn may bring up are certainly perpetrated by fake muppets – impostors, if you will. Your little shrimpy dude is pure. So is Kermit. Miss Piggy I’m not so sure about… There, are we feeling better now?

Derrek October 15, 2011 at 19:47

*sniff sniff* Yes. Much, much better. :)

Just so you know, I wasn’t really going to cry or anything. It was just a ruse. I don’t cry. I’m an insanely macho, manly person. Like Chuck Norris.

……. hey where’s my Elmo doll? I’m sure I left it here somewhere.

marc van der linden October 14, 2011 at 08:10

Hi melody,

I love your observations. I remember bob proctor in the movie the secret still saying “ýou can choose how old you are’”. I never could understand that we could influence our physical age. But with this post, I start understanding what he really meant. It is more how you act than the age of your physical body.

Acting all different ages and not trying to cope up with the imaginary deadlines of society, we can be more alive. I cannot agree more. And it as you say: children know this – they are not interested in these imaginary deadlines.

Thanks for the inspiration!
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Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 19:57

Thanks Marc!

We sort of take for granted that kids know how to be young, but if we take on some of those qualities, we can feel young at any age. And we get to define how old we are and what’s appropriate. Not society or our parents. And this realization is bleeding out in interesting ways: executives are rolling around on scooters (and segways for the lazy) at convention centers and airports. You can’t tell me that none of those people are having just a little bit of fun while doing that?

Hugs!
Melody

Hugs!
Melody
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Daniel M. Wood October 14, 2011 at 09:48

Hey Melody,

Great article.
Age is really only a mindset. My parents feel very young they are 62 and 54 but don’t feel older than 35.
It is a choice they have made and they feel healthier and happier because of it.

They aren’t unique, it is a choice.
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Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 19:58

Hi Daniel,

Thank you! Exactly my point. It is a choice. You can be responsible, be a parent, pay the bills, and still not grow up. It’s all in how we look at the world and ourselves.

Thanks for adding your experience here.

Hugs,
Melody
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Jimmy October 14, 2011 at 10:45

Haha, so does it mean that if we mix around with younger kids, the happier we will be? because younger kids like mine are even more unconscious and they live fuller without worries compared to a 7-8 year old.

My children teach me a lot these days. They are asking me more and more questions. More and more whys. They act as if there is no tomorrow. They have all the energy to last the night. Not daddy and mummy though. I wonder why?

I think it is because of the excitment of play. Play gives them a tremendous sense of freedom and thrill. If you ask me what they teach us most, it is the ability to have true fun without worries. We can also seek this fun by growing and seeking new experiences each day. When we do so, we will never die young.
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Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 20:00

Hi Jimmy,

I would say that younger kids are actually more “conscious”. They just aren’t conscious of what we want to train them to pay attention to yet. They are completely conscious of who they really are. :)

I love that – little kids just don’t worry that much. And when they do, they forget their worries really quickly. They just drop the subject. It doesn’t feel good.

Thank you so much for sharing your story here.

Huge hugs,
Melody
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Vishnu October 14, 2011 at 16:26

Insightful post Melody and contrary to what 99% of the world, parents, adults tell us as we are growing up – which is grow up! So, when we’re children, we spend most of our time about thinking about becoming an adult because society shows us it’s the cool thing to do. As you point out – it’s not. We should be embracing our youth as children and adults!

Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 20:02

Thanks Vishnu,

I think we should stop telling kids to grow up. We can teach them how to be responsible (honor their commitments, etc.), but they don’t have to stop having fun. That’s a real challenge for parents, I think. But more and more of them will rise to that challenge.

Hugs,
Melody
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Sara October 14, 2011 at 16:37

Fine, we are talking about the bogey of the young generation here, still crawling up the hill on their way to the very top, not knowing yet, that it doesn´t exist.
Young people tend to conform to social consesus (if mainstream or sub cultural doesn´t matter) due to their lack of experience and their desire and need for orientation and acknowledgement.
First we have to learn the rules (if performing or banging against them), then we have to unlearn them due to our new situation in life; we have figured out how society functions, and rules are made, we have reached a state from which we can afford to make choices. We can see and understand what lies behind social accomplishments, can appreciate them, and – turn away from them again, if we choose to. But we have to comprehend and appreciate what has been accomplished first.
Our life process guides us through the different stages of this journey; things which have been vital to us in one, become stale in another. If we keep stuck in one, things may get awkward (which doesn´t matter, as our destination is where we are).
If we live what interests us, recovering ourselves again and again, we will move, and that keeps us young. For there is nothing more attractive (to life and people) as a person who really is her/himself, no matter the years.

Let´s care and share for each other!
Sara

Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 20:04

Hi Sara,

That’s an excellent point – first kids need to learn our societies rules, so they can break them in an intelligent way. This means that we don’t have to look back at our own childhoods, lamenting the fact that we grew up too quickly. We had to be taught what the rules were before we could surpass them. So, once again, we can see just how everything is always perfect just the way it is. :)

Hugs!
Melody
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J.D. Meier October 14, 2011 at 18:32

Beautiful.

I think curiosity is the skill that keeps us young at heart. As soon as we know it all, or lose the lust for learning, it’s game over.

One of my big surprises for vibrant longevity is barefoot running. The stories in Born to Run are amazing, and it’s surprising how people should be able to run into their 60s and beyond, as well as they could when they were 18.
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Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 20:06

Hi J.D.,

Wow, I’m going to check that out! I love the idea of being able to run into old age. I admit, I’m guilty of the belief that this is one activity that will take its toll on our bodies. But then, maybe there’s a better way of running…

Thanks for sharing your insights here!

Hugs,
Melody
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Paul October 14, 2011 at 19:12

I totally agree. We should always remember to live life to the fullest, continue on learning and appreciate the things we have. I like the situations and examples you presented. I do notice a lot of these and it is amazing how a lot of seniors continue on learning and try new experiences.
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Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 20:07

Hi Paul!

This generation of seniors is more active (and has more money) than any before. It’s not just the kids who are different, but every generation is. How beautiful is that?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Hugs,
Melody

patricia October 14, 2011 at 19:43

whenever I get sick, I feel so old…seriously old. It is because I am always trying to get into the future away from the physical feelings of the moment.

Although I never seem to get better any faster – I seem to need to run the course.

I am in the present most of the time with this round…it is very different. If I feel I need to go back to bed – I do…and without the responsibilities of children, I just feel better being as I am at the time…
I do want to be the energetic 80 year old…I may not be
I love having the internet this time around and knowing my way around, because my curiosity has an outlet when my physical self is not moving one more step.

I am so lucky..I certainly do like your words and ideas….it takes awhile to find a “young” path when the physical needs more attention and gratitude

Melody Fletcher October 14, 2011 at 20:10

Hi Patricia,

Keep on your path of feeling good, and I’m convinced you’ll get “younger”. You clearly have such a youthful spirit, it comes through in your writing. It’s not as apparent lately, but it’s still there (you can’t hide it). Be kind to yourself, that’s not the same as feeling old or accepting decline. It means giving your body what it needs right now. But let your mind move to younger thoughts, better feeling thoughts, while your body rests and recovers.

Huge hugs!
Melody

Mary Carol October 14, 2011 at 23:17

My role model:

Years ago I shared a room in a YWCA in Honolulu with a woman of 93 years. She had a home in Colorado which she avoided and a family who nagged her to come home, but she chose to spend her life hopping by tramp steamer from port to port, YW to YW, around the world. She had retired from the diplomatic service and had spent the last 38 years a few weeks or months in one port, then moving on to another. Lately she’d changed to planes, as tramp steamers became less available. As a former diplomat, she connected into a rich social life wherever she went.

I like to picture her still tramping, though she’d be about 110 by now. Wherever she is, she’s having fun. And so can we all…

Mary Carol

PS Another role model is Helen Norris, a friend who had her latest book (not a retrospective, but new material) reviewed in the New York Times Book Review at age 87. An accomplishment at any age. Go Helen and all the old ladies!
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Melody Fletcher October 15, 2011 at 16:52

Wow Mary Carol!

Thanks for sharing these stories.
I love role models like that. Go young ladies!!!

Hugs,
Melody

Fred Tracy October 15, 2011 at 20:07

What a great article!

There is a definite difference between being irresponsible and being childlike. I know someone who is almost 30 and still lives with his dad and collects toys, yet he hates life and generally has the vibe of a 90 year old.

Then there’s people like you, who can have really fun, young vibes, yet take care of all their stuff.

But what I really want to know is, exactly how old are you? Chronologically speaking, you know, for real. :D
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Melody Fletcher October 15, 2011 at 21:09

Hmmmm Fred. My question to you would be: Why do you feel the burning need to know? What will my age tell you about me? What difference will knowing this number make to you?

I wrote about this here: Why I won’t tell you my age.

Ageless hugs,
Melody

Fred Tracy October 17, 2011 at 18:22

Damn.. I was hoping to judge you.

I guess I’ll just have to accept that you’re ageless instead. :P
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Alice July 11, 2012 at 02:08

Because it might be inspirational. You have smooth skin, light, bell-like voice and sharp mind. It would be proof of LOA if you revealed you were actually 80 or something. :-)

Melody Fletcher July 11, 2012 at 14:42

Ok, Alice. Then I’m 80. Consider me a GILF. :lol:

Now, I know that you’re thinking that it doesn’t count if it’s not my “real” age. But why not? Why does what my birth certificate says have anything to do with how YOU feel about yourself, eh? Perhaps you want some hope that “older” ladies can still look great. Well, check these ladies out:

Anette Larkins

Mimi Kirk

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Alice July 12, 2012 at 05:37

Well they do look good for 70 but they still look pretty weathered. You wouldn’t mistake them for under 50.
But great for 70 though.

Joe Bill October 16, 2011 at 03:47

People often tell me that even when I was a kid, I wasn’t a kid.

I did go to Wal-Mart today, and there were oblivious kids there, in my way. I thought of how happy and how much fun they were having, and then I thought of how I could have JUST as much fun running over them with a cart. Then, it occurred to me that when I was a kid, there was always a kid or two who did have fun by running off with your stuff or otherwise doing something shitty. Now, I can BE that KID to KIDS!

I think an important part of the “staying young” is to still tie in to your joy–that’s usually what people mean anyway. Being young really isn’t any guarantee of joy–being a kid has the up moments which we tend to remember and many, many down moments we tend to forget. It’s not really a more privileged point or a better one than being old to me. There were always stresses, complications, worries. Maybe someone who isn’t me had a childhood that was totally care free. If you did, I hate you and want to invent a time machine to go back and stress you out. I suspect that this “care free” childhood probably had some less than “care free moments”. It’s just that what is important in a kid world seems silly when looking back.

Of course, I suspect when you are 90, a lot of what looked important when you were 30 seems silly.
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Derrek October 16, 2011 at 14:35

You make some very valid points, dude. It’s true. Kids have worries and insecurities too, it’s just that there’s a whole lot of “newness” in the world to numb out the shitty parts. I loved my childhood, but I had my fair share of worries. But I think that’s the key to being youthful. Kids lose themselves to the freshness of their surroundings and explore, learn things, pick-up ideas, etc. I think as people grow, they just stop spending time exploring and turn into jaded, numb, cynical folk who surrender to the 9-5 mentality. I speak for myself as well.

Sometimes I’m just too resistant towards good things. “It’s too good to be true”. Kids will just grab whatever niceness comes their way without even caring about where it came from. As we grow, and especially after going through the madness of our teenage years, I think we analyze good things to an extent that we’re unable to enjoy anything anymore. We look for meaning, and benefits, and the effect of this or that in the long run, and how we may be obliged towards wherever this good thing came from. Just too many thoughts for our own good. That’s what I think anyway. :)

Melody Fletcher October 16, 2011 at 16:32

Hey Joe Bill,

Actually, you make a really excellent point: “Young” is not the same as being a kid. Kids have such a limited perspective. Their whole world is teensy, and therefore, whenever anything “bad” happens, it’s like their whole world is shattered. I’d never want to go back to not having the perspective I do now, and certainly don’t want to relive my teenage years. Good God no!

So, once again, the point that how OLD we are has nothing to do with our chronological age is eloquently supported.

FYI, my childhood was not entirely carefree. Like you, I was way “older” than my years, something that I’ve reversed now (cause it’s so much more fun to be “younger”). I was one of those high vibrational kids who pushed against any injustice she saw and forced her teachers (and the nuns at Catholic school) to actually make sense. I did not have the easiest time growing up.

So, you’re right. Being chronologically young does not guarantee joy. Perhaps we should stop using the words young and old and just go with “awesome” and “not awesome”. I choose to be awesome. :D

Hugs!
Melody
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Claudia October 16, 2011 at 18:01

Hi Melody,

LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Especially the “Start Growing Younger” list…excellent suggestions and each one is very do-able. I think it would be to many people’s advantage to print that list out and tape it to their bathroom mirror so that they have a daily reminder of ways to grow younger.

Your advice is awesome…thanks
Claudia
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Melody Fletcher October 18, 2011 at 00:35

Hi Claudia!

Thank you so much for your wonderful words! I really appreciate your feedback.

Let’s all grow young together. :)

Hugs,
Melody

Terrill Welch October 17, 2011 at 16:36

Hello Melody,

I made my way here through Patricia’s post this morning. I love your article! Being young is easiest to access from our child place but good to keep some of the wisdom so the bills get paid and the laundry done. But it doesn’t have to be drudgery. Have you every paid the bills naked? – gives a new meaning to online security. How about washing the laundry in the bathtub with a big plunger or rolling up the pant legs and stepping in to stomp them clean? Then of course – hand wring and hang on the line to dry. Just lovely.

I am 53 years old this year. My grown kids now tell tales to their children about how silly their mom is as they grin from ear-to-ear with love rather than admonishment. How did this happen? Laughter, curiosity, creativity and doing what you love and loving what you must do.

My husband and I were just in for checkups. We are no different than other people. Our bodies are aging. I mentioned a symptom that was worrying me and the doctor replied that “it was likely just degenerative and nothing to be concerned about.” I looked at him and said “are you telling me that I am getting old?” We laughed as he replied “I sure didn’t word that very well.” But I stopped worrying about the symptom and just added to my new way of being.

Here are my top three behaviours for being harmlessly young.

1. Make eye contact with as many people as you comfortably can when you are out and about. Urban life has an taught us to avoid eye contact for privacy but if you raise your eyes you meet all sorts of interesting beings who enjoy a smile, a nod maybe even a friendly wink or a shared rolling of the eyes in a line up. Try it! It is awesome fun.

2. Make faces at those you love or do a silly walk or dance or a whole skit. They will love it and you get to move your body in unusual ways. I promise, the laughter is worth it!

3. Embrace curiousity. What is it like to wear your underwear as a hat? Okay, that takes us back to the laundry and having clean underwear.

Enjoy your day Melody!
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Melody Fletcher October 18, 2011 at 00:49

Hi Terrill,

Welcome to Deliberate Receiving! I love how you dealt with your checkup – with humor and then you just let it go. Bravo.

And I also love your suggestions here. I live in a city and often catch myself just tuning out when I walk down the street. It’s so easy to get into a mode where you make no eye contact. But how lonely is that? I have to make a bit of a deliberate effort, but it’s so worth it when I just make some eye contact and smile. And it’s great flirting practice, too! You begin to realize how easy it is to look at and connect with people.
Number 2 is fantastic, too, especially around kids. When my nephew shot me with his lego plane, I died. Spectacularly. I made the sound effects, cried “Why me?!” and vowed to get revenge. Overacting worthy of William Shatner.
I also have the tendency to make stuffed animals perform dirty, dirty acts on each other (not with kids in the room, obviously). I just can’t help myself. It makes me laugh so hard that I nearly wee myself. And while some assorted adults try to admonish me for being “immature” and “disgusting”, I can tell that they’re trying not to wee themselves, too.
I shall now have to go put my underwear on my head. I haven’t tried that one and I must admit I’m intrigued.

Hugs!
Melody

Alice July 11, 2012 at 02:39

A very important post Melody,

Another belief like “money” that society has huge limitations around is age. There are some core society problems as far as limiting beliefs. Your blogs address some of them and challenge them.
It makes you wonder what “young” really is.

If you base it off the fact that I watch Disney, Nickelodeon (hilarious), love comedies, fingerpaint, modelling clay, love animals, nature and joking with people then I’m young. I’ve always been unique and has that side of me that is outrageous.
I didn’t think that was youth. I thought that was being eccentric/an artist/comedian type.
If you base it off joy levels and facial appearance then I’m pretty old. I’ve got a baby face that generally looks younger than I am but lately developed some deep frown lines which I fill with foundation.
Sadness has a tendency to age the face. Your eyes lack that sparkle. You get adult acne and pale, yellowish skin.

“And this is why I got 2 emails in one week, one from a 24 year old and one from a 26 year old, asking me to help them because at their age they’re running out of time to get it all together. Sheesh. Kids today!”

There are huge pressures in society. For example as a person in my 20′s (not going to specify) and a female society would not accept me dating a younger male. I saw a 25yr old friend-her age and gender meant that simply flirting with an 18yr old male made her some huge, mentally challenged, pedaphile freak.
Yet I’ve dated a 36yr old man when I was 18. Nobody judges him as harshly as if the genders were reversed.
There’s pressure on woman in particular to be young and desirable. Even in Japanese society for e.g. a woman not married by 25 is an expired cake or “old maid”
There are mesages out there for females even in “enlightened” Pagan communities after 25 the poor girl is no longer considered a maiden. She’s then already a “mother” and after mother is the wise crone.
No wonder at 18 I was also one of those people that felt time tick away. You can feel young mentally all you want but that doesn’t change your I.D. card or treatment from society or your body.

This post hasn’t convinced me because it seems like great methods to stay young at heart and in your mind.
But body wise your face would betray you and your I.D. card. Now if you explained how to use LOA to literally turn back the biological clock-that would be a different story.

Melody Fletcher July 12, 2012 at 17:55

Hey Alice,

A lot of the issues we have with age in our society are really all about caring WAY too much what others think. If your 25 year old friend wants to flirt with an 18 year old, who cares? Those who do are displaying their own fears and insecurities. What would make them judge a woman so harshly? Why would they even care? Unless they will latch onto anything that’s different and judge it as “bad” so that they can then judge themselves as “good” by comparison. How sad. For them.

What other people think of me is none of my business. Sure, I can decide to allow their reactions (or rather, my perceptions of their reactions) dictate the way I feel about myself, but why would I do that?? Ok, I grew up thinking I had to, but now I know better. I know I have a choice. The illusion that I am losing something as I age (instead of actually gaining something), that I no longer have the right to feel gorgeous and sexy as time goes by, that I no longer have the right to have hot sex with a man I find attractive just because he doesn’t tick the same age range box as me, that I have to change myself and conform so that others can feel more safe with their insecurities, just doesn’t make sense to me anymore. It IS an illusion, not a fact. And not reality, or certainly not MY reality.

I know that a lot of people don’t think this way. But that’s the point. You don’t have to join them. You get to decide for yourself how you want to think and feel.

Huge hugs,
Melody
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tony September 23, 2012 at 18:11

A little late for a comment, but I’d like to share this with you guys.
When I was a child, my family and I went to Ikaria, an island in the Aegean Sea. My grandmother was born there and my father insisted to visit the place every summer. I remember my grandmother’s reaction when she heard that an old friend died at the age of 105. “Klearchos is dead? He was still a child!”. That didn’t make sense because i then believed that people should die before 100yo and if they died without pain they should consider themselves lucky. Her sister is still alive, she’s 99 years old and still takes care of her garden and makes sweets. My father died before even reaching the age of 60 and people told that “ok, he was not too old, but he was old enough”. Last summer I went to the island again and saw a man (with my own eyes) who was diagnosed with cancer a few decades before (he was then living in the States for work) and returned to the island because doctors gave him 6 months to live and he wanted to have a cheap and decent orthodox funeral. He’s still alive, happy, eating lamb and drinking wine.
Who and what to believe?

Melody Fletcher September 24, 2012 at 14:12

Hey Tony,

Thanks for sharing this wonderful example here! We make so many assumptions about how old we can be and what state we have to attain old age in, that we often don’t realize that those assumptions are just beliefs and the evidence that supports them, just creation through observing.

And then, there are those wonderful people who refuse to conform to those beliefs and just live super long, happy, healthy lives. I can tell you that living in a beautiful place, where people don’t take life so seriously makes it much easier to shift into higher vibrations. And so it makes perfect sense to me that moving to an island where people are predominantly at a high vibration would pull that man with the cancer right up into well being. Of course, we don’t need the island to do that, but it does make it easier.

I saw this documentary a while back, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” (loved it, BTW!), about a man who had an auto immune disease and was able to heal himself by going on a 60 day green juice fast. He then traveled around the US, talking to people about health and food, etc. One thing really struck me: He asked people how long they thought they would live, given their current lifestyle. And most of them said a number in their 50′s or 60′s. I was so shocked by that. And they were resigned to this, as if there was nothing they could do. That really, really surprised me.

Personally, I’m going to be at least 120 years old. Maybe older. :) I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I figure, it’ll take at least that long before I run out of steam. Wooohooo.

Hugs!
Melody
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Kat November 8, 2012 at 03:22

Oh, man, I really needed this today. Thank you so much! I will reach 120 as well! :-)

Melody Fletcher November 8, 2012 at 18:08

Awesomeness Kat! We can be old and cool together! :)

Huge hugs!
Melody
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marce January 21, 2013 at 02:04

Hi, thank god i found this post, lately i’ve been really scared about aging ( to the limit to think about commit suicide, i didn’t wanted to live more than 35 -40 years)

Currently i’m 26 and i don’t want to get marry yet, this post made me smile because i know that life is not over until is over. The pressure from de media about how much the beauty and youth matter is horrible, thank you very much. I though that i was too old to be playful and dork :P , thank you

Melody Fletcher January 30, 2013 at 21:02

Hey Marce,

You’re never too old to a playful dork! I’m still one and I’ve been on this earth quite a bit longer than you (which doesn’t mean I’m “older”).

Be silly, be dorky, have fun. And your age will become just a number. :)

Huge hugs,

Melody
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