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On Age & Attitude


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.

Maurrie Sussman and Becky Clarke
Maurrie Sussman and Becky Clarke

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.

Maurrie, giving it her all!
Maurrie, giving it her 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.

Becky with Mazie, dressed with a smile!
Becky with Mazie, dressed with a smile!

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.

Mazie, playing dress up at all ages.
Mazie, playing dress up at all ages.

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!

Becky and a fellow Sister strike a pose!
Becky and a fellow Sister strike a pose!

Showing 4 comments

  1. Really an outstanding group of ladies in these pictures, so much fun, smiling faces.
    One thing for sure you are enjoying life and having fun. You go Sisters.

  2. Well said Sister! I have never paid attention to age, I couldn’t tell you instantly my own age let alone the ages of my friends – because it just doesn’t matter.
    I have two philosophies on aging:
    1. Try to live your life looking through child like eyes. Everything is new, fresh and wonderful that way.
    2. Don’t worry about it now cuz it’s only gonna get worse.

  3. Sister, you are preaching to the choir here! Those that try to put a limit on our life experiences because they have limited their lives, are short changing themselves.

    I live in central Maryland near the Catoctin Mountains. The AT runs through it and is a beautiful hike. When given the opportunity, I like to go up and take in a portion of the trail. On one particular morning, I had stopped to rest and enjoy the view.

    A woman and her husband came rushing over to me and asked if I was ok? Granted, I was a little flushed from the climb, but feeling great! I’m sure my complexion appeared warmer than usual because I had let my hair grow out and it was white. The contrast, along with my sturdy build, must have given this woman a concern that maybe I needed help. She proceeded to lecture me about climbing in the mountains at “my age.”

    After they left me, I finished my hike, stopped at the store and picked up a color kit for my hair. I went home, took a shower, and poured myself a nice glass of wine and colored my hair. I also called the optometrist for an appointment to change my wire rimmed glasses to something outlandish.

    No one has the right to decide what’s right for you, we can be 12 years old if we want!

    Age and attitude, are both gifts that we have earned and are to be enjoyed and shared! Do not be so afraid of dieing that you forget how to live!

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