You’re not the boss of me!
By Deborah Carroll
Recently I’ve been reading a great deal about the things I shouldn’t do, or should do, it’s pretty much the same thing. Apparently as a woman over 50 I fit into the top two categories of people whom others think they should be bossing around.
- Don’t wear mini skirts after 50.
- Go gray naturally.
- Things you don’t need after 50.
- Eat this after 50.
- Mustn’t eat this after 50.
- Don’t expect love at first sight after 50.
- Drink no wine after your time. (If you get that, you are definitely over 50.)
Let me start out by explaining this to writers everywhere. Stop. Telling. Women. What. To. Do.
I haven’t been told “No” this many times since I was four and climbed on top of the refrigerator to throw down the eggs kept up there, one little fragile oval at a time. I had my reasons– two of them to be exact. First, climbing was fun. Secondly, those eggs made a cool sound and a fun yellow and white splash as they hit the linoleum floor.
And much like the adorable toddler I must have been, the adorable over 50 woman I am now doesn’t enjoy being told no. Bratty? Perhaps. But more likely, unlike toddler me I believe I’ve earned the right to make good decisions, or bad ones, on my own. Dammit, I’ve lived more than 50 years; I’ve had several careers, I’m a mother and a grandmother, those experiences should be worth something in terms of respect for my choices.
In particular, if you are considerably younger than I am, you clearly have no clue what is appropriate for me. You think I’m old and you’re wrong. Older, yes. Old, not so much. (Not that there’s anything wrong with old!) Millennials should not be telling me what to wear. I’ve seen what you wear and it’s what I was wearing 20 years ago so I am clearly way ahead of you in fashion. As four-year-old me would’ve said, “You’re not the boss of me, Millennials.”
It’s not just fashion. Don’t tell me what’s good for my body when your body still has elasticity. About 20 years ago, a young doc told me I was 100% headed for knee replacement if I didn’t stop running. I explained my running was the pace most people walked and I only ran about three miles at a time so I doubted it was hurting me. He insisted her was right and I figured he spent about a million hours studying the body and must know whereof he spoke so I stopped. I felt like crap for about five years and figured, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” and started running again. Still running, about 4-5 miles a few times a week. No aches, no pains, and yes, still my original parts.
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Food bloggers all appear to be about 30 and love to tell me what to eat. Eat kale! Fried foods are not your friend! Chocolate will kill you! Chocolate can save your life! (Okay, that one might be true.) Don’t eat animals… unless they eat grass, then you can eat them… unless you have empathy, then you can’t eat them! And, yes, they all use a lot of exclamation points because everything they write matters!
Here’s the thing…I will, at this point, eat what I want and suffer the consequences. I’m just badass that way. I believe it’s stopping and stagnating that accelerates getting old. There’s a difference between aging and getting old. As long as we keep experiencing the world, keep trying new things, keep learning, we stay vibrant. We age but we don’t get old.
Poet Shel Silverstein had it right in his Listen to the Mustn’ts Piece, in which he advises not to pay attention to the shouldn’ts and instead embrace the concept of “anything can be.” At any age. As long as we believe “anything can be,” so can we.
So, how do you feel when someone tries to boss you around?
About the Author –
Deborah Drezon Carroll
If you can relate to this post, you might enjoy my blog. You can also download a copy of the grandparent oath there, suitable for signing. Visit at deborahdrezoncarroll.com/blog.
And, if you are a grandparent or know a grandparent, you might love my book, Real Grands: From A to Z, Everything A Grandparent Can Be.
Follow Deborah Drezon Carroll on Twitter:www.twitter.com/thefamilycrypt