You’re too old for that!

545513_10151068901303949_1177005509_nIt all starts early in our lives. We’re told things like, “You’re too old to suck your thumb”, “You’re too old to play with dolls or toys”‘. “You’re too old to collect baseball cards” “You’re too old to play with crayons or finger painting”.

You get the picture. From early on we are constantly being told what we are too old or mature to do. The funny thing (if you want to call it that) is that it doesn’t ever stop. We are constantly being told what we’re too old to do.

As adults we are told things like, “You’re too old to surf, snowboard or skateboard. Those things are for the kids”‘, “You’re too old to wear short skirts or dresses, long hair, tight or loud clothing, to have sex”, “You’re too old to live with your mother” (well that one could be valid), and “You’re too old to act like a kid and be silly”.

The list goes on and on. It seems like so many people have this outdated concept of what the norms of “growing up and being an adult” should be about and society seems to frown way too often upon those of us who don’t.

As I’ve said many times to people who accuse me of not acting my age and of being immature, there is a difference between acting young and acting immature and the two don’t necessarily  go together.

I have a friend from high school named Mike Lynch who is now in his mid-sixties and still playing semi-pro football. I respect the heck out of him for continuing to pursue a passion that he receives so much delight from.

I’m sure he is accused (probably mostly behind his back because he’s a big guy) of being too old to still be playing the game. Fortunately Mike has never let that stop him.

For my part, I’ve been listening to people tell me for at least the last thirty years that I’m too old for surfing and snowboarding but fortunately I haven’t listened to them and instead have chosen to focus on my friends and family who support what I do.

Several years ago I asked my shaper Tony from COS to shape me a 5’11” twin fin board. I respect the heck out of Tony’s advice and opinion but when he told me he thought I might be too old to ride such a short board I didn’t buy it. Somehow I thought I could still ride it and I asked Tony to make it for me anyway.

I’m glad I stuck with my gut feeling because it turned out to be a magical board for me and the one I ride most of the time. Sure there is nothing wrong with riding a long board but I just like riding shorter boards most of the time.

My feeling about age and the you’re too old stuff is that a person should let their body tell them when they are too old to do something. I also feel that a person should continue to do, wear what they want and act any way they want as long as it makes them feel good about themselves and doesn’t hurt others. I think it’s also important to try new things constantly and continue to learn.

I met another author a few years ago who wrote his first book when he was around ninety. I’m sure a lot of his friends (I guess at that age the word lots is a stretch) told him he was too old to write a book. The coolest thing about the guy was that he was already thinking about writing a second novel.

So my advice (for what it’s worth) is to not listen to those who try to convince you not to do this or that and to “act your age”. Instead, fly your freak or nonconformist flag and be your own unique, interesting, vital and exciting you.

BTW, I’m sorry I neglected to post a blog last week but have been busy painting the house the last week and a half (almost done except a few last touches). I’ve been told by some along the way that I’m too old to do this kind of work. I didn’t think so at the outset but after having to climb up to the top of the roof to paint the chimney, I’m starting to believe they might have been correct.

Thanks for checking in, I hope you have a great week and I’ll look forward to seeing you back here again next week.

Aloha, Paul

About authorpaulhayden

Author, artist, screenwriter, environmentalist. husband, father, surfer, surfing instructor, volunteer.
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