At Every Age

There’s so much I want to write about, but I can’t get myself to sit down and actually write. Well, sitting down is not the problem, as I’m probably still a pretty sedentary person, but actually writing is.

Today, I”m joining in with Finish the Sentence Friday (#FtSF). This week, the prompt is to write about your (or your child’s or whoever’s) favorite age.

I used to think being younger was better. I don’t really know why. Maybe I was conscious at an early age of the fact that life is finite, so growing up meant getting closer to death. I also thought that growing up meant an increase in responsibility, which scared me from an early age on. After all, I knew from as young as age nine on that I was supposed to leave the house and go to university by eighteen. That’s a huge burden of awareness to carry as a child that young.

Now I think being at every age has its beauty. I do worry that I’m declining in health already, and this is where the sitting down comes in. I really need to get more active, because I know that at every age, you can do something to improve your health and wellbeing.

I also think that, at every age, you can retain or regain some level of childlike wonder. We see this in the alters, who each represent a particular stage in development. Some are grown-up for their age, like Jace, the 9-year-old who was told about going to university and leaving the house. Others are more childlike, like Milou, who is 8-years-old and very playful. We also have an adult, Marieke, who, though she’s 32, enjoys sensory learning and play.

In my fellow clients at day activities, I also see the beauty in every age. They are intellectually disabled, most with a so-called “mental age” under six. Now the concept of “mental age” is highly ableist. However, learning about normal child development can teach us some interesting things about myself and others with developmental disabilities anyway. I was intrigued to read about emotional development as it pertains to people with mild intellectual disability and as it pertains to me in some way too. The consultant psychologist assigned to my case in my care-finding process, said I function emotionally at a 16-month-old level. This explains a lot of why I act the way I do. Interestingly though, we don’t have an alter who identifies with this age.

In short, I think every age and stage in development has its beautiful sides and its ugly sides. Childhood means your parents still have a lot of control over you, but it means you have relatively few responsibilities. Adolescence and young adulthood come with increased responsibility and freedom. I don’t know yet what middle age or old age will bring, but I’m confident I’ll find the beauty in it.

6 thoughts on “At Every Age

  1. I think you’re so right that we can find beauty and childlike wonder at any age. I struggle with being middle-aged, mostly because most of my son’s friend’s moms are younger than I am. But I’m trying really hard to appreciate each moment and year for what they bring and not worry so much about wrinkles and youth. So glad you joined FTSF again – great to see you here!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Can identify with many of Tuckers’ friends’ mums because my middle age is still very young [though I felt middle-aged already at 27].

      Yeah for appreciating every moment and year for what they bring.

      And my Aunt reached a very significant birthday – it is the one where you become a senior citizen. She is the second person in that generation to do so.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah!

    So I went to the Babycentre after searching emotional development and found that 16-month-olds are initiating interactions and using their caregivers as tools – or find that they can actually do so after a few months or weeks of thinking about it.

    Also giving back and rewarding.

    Also that toddlers around this time are very intuitive about right and wrong for different people. The example used was a bigger sibling laughing at banging on the table and a parent frowning.

    [if you had ways to perceive these expressions back then…]

    That was Dana Sullivan’s work and research.

    Yes you can do lots of things to improve your wellbeing at every age.

    “On every page at every stage Advance” sing the choir of the Australian national anthem.

    Perhaps alters did not experience “attention” “amazement” and “appreciation” which would have them develop further/more dynamically.

    Those three things are quite a force especially in balance – I imagine many parents/caregivers/families specialise in one and squeeze the other two.

    Another possibility is that they [individually and/or collectively] were happy and fulfilled at this age/stage and so didn’t need to form a coalition.

    I wonder if Marieke liked tool sets or play kitchens and grocery carts?

    And your fellows reacting to punishment and reward.

    Thank you Terry for pointing out the beauty in elderhood and “what you make of it”.

    There is lots of advice flying around on Twitter on what we would tell our 19-year-old selves.

    Liked by 1 person

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