A special series from Maurrie Sussman.
What is Age Exactly?
On the other side of the fence is life, the act of living. How you live and the sum of one’s experiences all gather together to define you.
How do I want to live my life? Who do I want to mimic? Who should be my mentor? Can I change my life? Can I gather all my experiences “together” and make my life as full as possible?
At Sisters on the Fly there’s an old saying that sums it up quick: “Life is sort of like a horseback ride, try not to land wrong!” Or if you don’t ride a horse, how about, “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body but rather, a wild ride where you skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and, loudly proclaiming, WOW! What a trip!”
That’s a pretty good intention and yet, every time the media interviews Becky and I, the first question they want to ask is, “How old are you?” While I always answer that I’m, “Twelve years old and intend to stay that age forever,” I also suggest, in my most professional voice, that it is not an appropriate (or interesting!) question to ask.
It’s not our age that matters but our attitude! (Besides, it would be unfair of us to ruin the illusion for those twenty-something-Sisters since, shhh they don’t know we are not all the same age!) If we can’t fool our own sisters, who can we fool?
Age: To Be Enjoyed With Friends
This fall, while driving back to Arizona from Montana I gave myself an extra day in Laramie, Wyoming with my friend Christa, a successful veterinarian. We were enjoying our time together while sipping a vodka and a gin and cucumber cocktail. We talked about Sisters on the Fly, shared funny stories and gushed about the wonderful women we have met. I told her that I was thinking about “age” and wanted to share my story on the subject. She was delighted and as we started to chat, we hit lots of subjects: hormones, facelifts, boobie lifts, relationships with men and women, love, sex, moments we keep to ourselves, and memories and dreams we still have. We agreed that whatever journey we are on at the moment – we have to give it our all.
Age and Facing the Day
Most of you have heard the Mazieism, “Take a shower, you will feel better.” Our whole lives were built around that phrase! After a shower, you put your nice clothing on, make your face bright and beautiful and you won’t feel bad! You won’t need to take aspirin and for sure don’t need to rest – it’s like a drug! I only feel great, fresh and eager when I face that mirror and tell myself that it is a fine day, so let’s go get it! Give it your all.
When Mazie was raising Becky and I as young girls, she emphasized that each morning we do our best and look our best. We must get up; take that shower, and dress in appropriate clothing for the morning duties. Those duties might be pulling weeds, watering the lawn, doing dishes, helping with the ironing, walking the dog, or going to a workplace – hair combed and face bright.
As I look back at Mazie’s life and her gusto, it was all of that and more. I do not believe I ever saw her wearing a sweat suit or sweat pants. She dressed for the garden in jeans, colorful tennis shoes, a bright tee shirt, hat, lipstick, and mascara. When you look at a person so full of beauty, you learn and learn and learn. When someone looks at you in the eyes and smiles because you bring them joy – you know it. Do it! Give it your all.
All About Attitude
Growing up, we shopped in the Goodwill stores, finding those adorable slightly used articles of clothing. Mazie was a seamstress and a hat designer who was able to convert clothes that were too large to fit her into something that was just to her liking. Her clothing was beautiful and she only bought “Name Brands” (those are her words, not ours). When you do shop at thrift stores, it’s easy to wear it once and pass it on. Sort of like a costume ball, creating your own “set” for your own stage.
Where is all this taking us? Right back to the beginning! A number does not define us. It’s not our age, weight, or physical attributes that matter but our attitude!
We don’t have to feel like we’re any older than twelve years old on the inside. Change the little voice inside the mirror that wants to tell us otherwise and greet every day ready to take on the world. Age is a word. I think, I know, I feel like I’m twelve years old today and I am gonna give it my all!