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Golden Years

We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end we’re all storytellers. Writing Challenges help you push your…

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We blog for a million different reasons, but in the end we’re all storytellers. Writing Challenges help you push your writing boundaries and explore new ideas, subjects, and styles.

To participate, read the challenge instructions and write at least one post in response. Tag your post with DPchallenge and include a link to this post to generate a pingback. Make sure your post has been specifically published in response to this challenge. We might just highlight some of our favorites on Freshly Pressed on Fridays, or in our quarterly newsletter.

No matter how you shake it, it happens to all of us: we grow older. As our age changes, so does our perspective. This week, we’re asking you to take a look at those little numbers that often mean so much.

Everything Changes

A professor of mine once told me that each time he read Marcel Proust‘s In Search of Lost Time, it took on a different meaning. The way the book delves into memory and the passing of time, he explained, resonated differently depending on what experiences you yourself had been through over the years. While I could never reproduce his unique zeal for the father of the modern novel, I admired the sentiment.

For the longest time, well after I’d moved beyond my teenage years, I still automatically told people I was sixteen when they asked my age. Clearly, I was still young enough that asking my age wasn’t a rude question, but I was by no means in my mid-teens. Mentally, however, I hadn’t caught up with just how old I actually was.

Then something shifted. We often emphasize age as a number, a calculation of the days, months, and years we’ve been awake and living. Yet, as the saying goes, our age is also a mental state, a series of milestones that remind us of where we’ve been, and where we’re going.

Just A Number

For this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to explore what age means to you. Is the the loss of youth, or the cultivation of wisdom? Do things get better as you grow older, or worse? There are many ways to interpret age, often depending on your relationship with the passing of time.

Need some help getting started? Use the suggestions below as a jumping off point for your own posts on age and aging:

  • Age feels all the more poignant because, let’s face it, time doesn’t last forever. What if you never aged, or if you were immortal? Would you choose either if you could?
  • Write us a synopsis of your memoir. What are some significant milestones in your life? Which age was the best, and which was the worst?
  • Do you think young people face different challenges today? What shifts have you seen in youth culture, from your own experience all the way to your grandchildren’s experience?
  • For our fiction writers, cultivate a character. Through your imagination, pinpoint a common theme in his or her life, and show us how your character’s perspective changes as he or she grows older.

For the truly adventurous, we challenge you to try hitting two challenges with one stone, er, post. Combine this week’s photo challenge on perspective with your writerly musings on age, youth, and how your perspective changes as you grow older. We’re looking forward to hearing your wizened take on this week’s theme!

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  1. This is a timely conversation as the topic of aging has been on my mind. Especially since I have a birthday coming up soon. And I am beginning to fully realize that my life is half over. I could take a “glass is half full approach” but the point is that my life’s glass is half empty. The luxury of having 25 years or more to decide what to do with my life and what things I would like to accomplish is rapidly dwindling. This is not to say that I do not have time left. I do. At least I hope so. As no one can really know how long they are going to live. I have been fortunate to live as long as I have in relatively good physical health as compared to others.

    If I had a wish it would be that I could live the last half of my life pain free. Aging is painful. There is no getting away from that. If you are lucky you can keep your mental faculties up to the time you die, but physically, it is very difficult. I truly understand the old adage of “Youth is wasted on the young.” By the time you reach my age you are truly starting to understand yourself and what you desire in this world. You have hopefully achieved some wisdom and learned some valuable life lessons. Like “having it all” doesn’t necessarily just mean wealth. Family, love, compassion, charity are all worth having and don’t always involve money or wealth.

    If I be younger longer I would. Physically and mentally. I would love to live to 150 and be as spry as a teenager or at least as health as I was at 35. At this time of my life in that time span I would still be able to rock climb, hike without pain and have adventures galore. That is what I would want. I would not want to live forever. There is a cycle to life for a reason. People and age and die for a reason. It is so that we do not stress our limited resources and we can have younger generations of people follow us. If we lived forever would we cherish life and the time we have as much. Or would it just become monotonous routine?

    I have lived a full life. I served in the Navy for twenty years. I survived rape, abuse and poverty. I have worked very hard to overcome the after affects of a not so nice childhood. I want some time to just enjoy life and not have to work so hard for it. I would like the new challenges in my life to be about spiritual, cultural and emotional growth. That has happened in my life, but I would really like to enjoy the growth of these areas now and not be as affected by the past. There is little that I would change in my life. There are choices that I made that I would make differently, but none that would change having the children and grandchildren that I have. And definitely not change meeting the man who is my husband now.

    I think I am going to take the view of “my life is half full”. I still have some room for more.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ugh. I turn fifty tomorrow. I have been trying to avoid writing about it in any serious way. Feeling bowled over by that number, I threw myself an adult bowling party. I wrote a humor piece about my “bawling” party. Typo intentional. But now with this week’s blatant challenge, I feel I cannot “spare” any more time. I must drag myself out of the “gutter” and “pin” down my fears, then just “roll” with it. Hope I don’t “strikeout.” Oh wait, that’s baseball! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What a sweet greeting. I didn’t even think people read comments here. Thank you very much! Now I must admit to mixing up dates! I turn 50 on Wed, not tomorrow. Guess that’s something I’ll blame on Lil Miss Menopause, my scapegoat alter ego! Thank you again.
        Stephanie

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well. an early Happy Birthday to you! Don’t fret the 50’s …. accept them! Besides the alternative to aging sucks. Life is worth sweating thru every hot flash and landing after every mood swing. 🙂 Have fun with it!

      Vicki – 52 and loving it! 🙂

      Like

      1. Lol! Well alright then! And check out Patricia Sands in the feed as well. I told her she’s my newest inspiration – in her mid-60’s published her first novel. You’re gonna love the 50’s club! 🙂

        Vicki

        Liked by 1 person

      2. so sorry….didnt mean my last comment to attach to yours…it ended up in wrong place!
        what i was going to respond was i”m now 59 and so heading to 60…eeek! but my fifties have been a time full of life, love, health and happiness….! take heart…..

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      3. Congratulations on your journey to 60 susipet! I’m the one waving and running behind you with my dreadlocs flipping in the wind – on the same journey! 🙂

        Vicki

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    2. I’m thankful to have been born to a family that was close enough to their roots to revere elders for their wisdom rather than discarding them as used up. When my mother turned 50 I congratulated her on having lived half a century – how much she’d seen and how much she understood. I wished on her 50 more splendid years. Sadly, she only saw 13 more. 😦

      I’ll be 65 this summer. The only issue with growing older is one reflects upon not doing some things (falling and breaking a bone) in one’s youth as such things tend to revisit in the form of reactions to cold and damp weather.

      Congratulations! You’ve outlived so many of our ancestors! You’ve seen and done so much and have many wondrous years to look forward to. You’ve only just begun. 😀

      Like

      1. If you go into your fifties thinking you’re old, and its horrible, it will be. for me, my 50s were my best decade physically, mentally, emotionally. and menopause can be a gift, not something to view with horror.

        You are now you, and no longer tied to a calendar. enjoy, enjoy.

        It is also the time when doctors, policemen, clerks, and other People in Authority are now your equal (or younger) in age, and will soon be younger. That is so empowering…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I suggest you write a “Flash-Forward.” Or have you ever been to a funeral? Remember looking around and thinking? What were your thoughts? I love 16 year-olds with their own blogs! Gonna check it out now!
      Stephanie

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    2. You’re only unqualified if you really believe that you are. What stories are you carrying around with you from your family history? I bet there are some gems in there that you could compare/contrast with your worldview at 16.

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      1. Thanks for the advice, that was actually very accurate. I’m writing my response to the challenge now, although it is not centred around the experiences of my family members, your advice was very helpful with finding a starting point. Thanks again!

        Like

    1. Just write your post like you would normally and then copy the link (what’s in your URL bar) and paste it into your post somewhere. Also when you pick your “Tag” words, make sure you put one called, “DP Challenge.” That’s it!!

      Like

      1. ps. When I said copy the link, I meant what’s in your URL bar here on the DP Challenge page, not your own blog. Maybe someone can explain this better than Little ole Menopausal Mixed-Up Me! lol Good luck!

        Like

  3. I will be 69 this summer. I became a published author in 2010 at the age of 65. My second novel was published last April and, due to great demand from readers, a sequel will be published this summer. It took me this long to realize what I want to do with my life. So to all of you youngsters who are bemoaning your next birthday, try looking at it as being given another year to follow your dreams. How exciting is that? And having a birthday is a lot better than the alternative! Every day is a gift …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patricia I have officially dubbed you my newest inspiration! 🙂 I love being 52! I feel stronger, more sure of myself, and more resistant to anything trying to knock me down. In my 30’s and 40’s I learned to write well enough (without a journalism degree) to become staff writer on two newspaper publications. Now I’m moving forward to fiction. At times stinky thinking makes me doubt, but then people like you enter my vision at the perfect time.

      Best of wishes to all that you do,

      Vicki

      Like

    2. Congratulations at such an accomplishment, Patricia! I love the stories that remind us that it’s never too late to pursue our passions! Thank you so much for sharing your inspirational wisdom!

      Like

  4. i’ve been mulling about this angst that some women have about age. no offense to womanhood, but i don’t understand why they find it hard to play their age. it starts early in life. at 3, they can’t wait to be 5. at 5, they can’t wait to be 7. at 7, they can’t wait to be 13. at 13, they can’t wait to be 16. at 16, they can’t wait to be 18. at 18, they can’t wait to be 21. at 21, they can’t wait to be 27. at 27, however, their perspectives suddenly change. the “can’t wait” attitude is gone. it seems that the spectre of turning 30 soon is rubbing them the wrong way. is it because 30 means to them the end of the road? small wonder that they will try everything to prevent it from happening.

    http://wp.me/p6FwZ-tS

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anyone desperately in need of advice? Come check out my new blog, Ask Chelsea! You can ask me anything, and I assure you I will answer 🙂

    askchelsea.wordpress.com

    ❤ Have a lovely day!

    Like

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