The Age Trap

What is.......AGE

What is aging, really?  Aging means different things to different people. Each of us have our OWN concepts of what age is.  To some people, become older is a time of apprehension, even trepidation. They think of what once ......WAS, gone forever!
What is aging, really? Aging means different things to different people. Each of us have our OWN concepts of what age is. To some people, become older is a time of apprehension, even trepidation. They think of what once ......WAS, gone forever!
Many people see youth as the time to have fun, explore & be wild. They view middle &/or old age is the time to settle down & to ACT one's age.They're told to slow down. They're also told that their chances are gone & be resigned to their fate.
Many people see youth as the time to have fun, explore & be wild. They view middle &/or old age is the time to settle down & to ACT one's age.They're told to slow down. They're also told that their chances are gone & be resigned to their fate.

Youth GOOD, Middle and/or Old Age BAD

In this youth obsessed culture, being young is the ultimate prize. Youth represents attractiveness, sexiness, being dynamic, & vigor. Oftentimes, middle & old age are viewed as the complete antitheses of those characteristics.
In this youth obsessed culture, being young is the ultimate prize. Youth represents attractiveness, sexiness, being dynamic, & vigor. Oftentimes, middle & old age are viewed as the complete antitheses of those characteristics.
As a result of the overemphasis on youth, many people become quite unnerved at the prospect of reaching middle age or older. They feel that they're no longer the people they once were.Some even see middle age as the beginning of their decline.
As a result of the overemphasis on youth, many people become quite unnerved at the prospect of reaching middle age or older. They feel that they're no longer the people they once were.Some even see middle age as the beginning of their decline.

Middle &/or Old Age........Seen as the Beginning of........D-E-C-L-I-N-E

Some middle aged people begin to see themselves as-OLD. They believe that THE BEST part of their lives are over so they might as well accept their fate. They believe that there is nothing else for them to do or try.
Some middle aged people begin to see themselves as-OLD. They believe that THE BEST part of their lives are over so they might as well accept their fate. They believe that there is nothing else for them to do or try.
There ARE people who succumb to that societal notion of what middle &/or old age SHOULD be. Once they reach middle &/or old age, they start lose their sense of adventure, curiosity,& fear of the new. They oftentmes become more risk averse & cautious.
There ARE people who succumb to that societal notion of what middle &/or old age SHOULD be. Once they reach middle &/or old age, they start lose their sense of adventure, curiosity,& fear of the new. They oftentmes become more risk averse & cautious.

AGETITIS, Disease of People Approaching Middle &/or Old Age

There are some people who have agetitis. They feel that once THAT AGE is reached, it is time to act age appropriate or the colloquial phrase, act one's age according to their particular sociocultural construct. They start to slow down, acting OLD.
There are some people who have agetitis. They feel that once THAT AGE is reached, it is time to act age appropriate or the colloquial phrase, act one's age according to their particular sociocultural construct. They start to slow down, acting OLD.
There are people who actually believe that once people reach old age particularly, they lose their physical & mental facilities. There are even some old people who believe this paradigm re: old age.
There are people who actually believe that once people reach old age particularly, they lose their physical & mental facilities. There are even some old people who believe this paradigm re: old age.
There are people who believe that when one reaches advanced old age,he/she'll be completely incapacitated.They believe this  paradigm so much that when THEY reach advanced old age,they actually become totally incapacitated.
There are people who believe that when one reaches advanced old age,he/she'll be completely incapacitated.They believe this paradigm so much that when THEY reach advanced old age,they actually become totally incapacitated.

Middle &/or Old Age DOESN'T Mean One Acts OLD

Many middle aged &/or older people refuse to adhere to the old societal paradigm regarding aging. To them, age does not preclude them for doing what they want to do w/their lives.  They will do as they please until they DIE or CAN'T anymore.
Many middle aged &/or older people refuse to adhere to the old societal paradigm regarding aging. To them, age does not preclude them for doing what they want to do w/their lives. They will do as they please until they DIE or CAN'T anymore.
There are going to be SOME people who are totally aghast at the prospect of middle aged & older people trying new things & pursuing new avenues. They feel that the latter are "too old" for such after they're no longer young & should GIVE IT UP!
There are going to be SOME people who are totally aghast at the prospect of middle aged & older people trying new things & pursuing new avenues. They feel that the latter are "too old" for such after they're no longer young & should GIVE IT UP!
There are people who believe that age is just coincedental &/or circumstantial. They contend that one does not have to do EVERYTHING in their youth. After all, Rome was not built in a day. There ARE still avenues & things to do, pursue & explore.
There are people who believe that age is just coincedental &/or circumstantial. They contend that one does not have to do EVERYTHING in their youth. After all, Rome was not built in a day. There ARE still avenues & things to do, pursue & explore.
There are even people who get even MORE BOLD & FIERCER w/age. They NEVER intend to stop, always search for ways to forever improving themselves physically, emotionally, mentally &/or psychologically.To them,being older is about sage-ing,not age-ing!
There are even people who get even MORE BOLD & FIERCER w/age. They NEVER intend to stop, always search for ways to forever improving themselves physically, emotionally, mentally &/or psychologically.To them,being older is about sage-ing,not age-ing!
Age should not stop anyone from pursuing what he/she wants to do as long as he/she is healthy & alert. Old societal paradigms re: aging are becoming passe. Age is just a number, nothing more, nothing less.
Age should not stop anyone from pursuing what he/she wants to do as long as he/she is healthy & alert. Old societal paradigms re: aging are becoming passe. Age is just a number, nothing more, nothing less.

At Your Age, You Want To Do and Be WHAT?! Don't Be Preposterous, Act YOUR Age, Will You!

I. What is AGE Really?

What is age exactly? People have different concept as to what is age. Many associate age with doing "age appropriate activities". They believe that youth is the time to explore myriad avenues and to be wild. They further contend that youth is the time to act silly and to be as bold as one wishes to be. They bemoan and lament the oncoming of aging.

Some people staunchly assert that once people become a "certain age" whether it is middle or old age, they must ACT their age. Middle aged and older people are routinely told to slow down and to act more sedate. They are inculcated with the premise "being too old" whenever they wish to embark on a new activity or venture. They are sternly told that whatever chances they had are now gone and to live with their fate.



II. Youth



II. Youth Associated With Positivity, Desirability & Dynamism While Middle and Old Age Are Seen as Negativity, Undesirability & Decline

In this youth obsessed culture, being young is the ultimate prize. Young people are this youth obsessed society, being young is the ultimate prize. Young people are oftentimes considered to be more attractive, sexy, aggressive, and dynamic than their counterparts are who middle aged and/or older. When people are middle aged and/or older, they are seen as "the lesser" and the opposite of the aforementioned characteristics.

Middle aged and/or older people are perceived to be staid, rigid, even fogyish. Young people are viewed as more attractive, sexy, aggressive, and dynamic than those who are middle aged and older. When you are middle aged and older, you are seen as less of the aforementioned things. Middle aged and older people are often viewed somewhat negatively. Old people in this society are viewed very negatively-they are considered senile and in the way.

No wonder many people become apprehensive with the idea of becoming older. They are subconsciously succumbing to the underlying, negative concept of aging which is ever present in this society. There are middle aged people who are very uncomfortable with the fact that they ARE middle age. They feel that this period is the end of their youth. They contend that they are no longer the fun and exciting people they used to be. They feel that they are starting to decline.



III. Middle and/or Old Age as ...........Utter Resignation, What's To Come & What Once WAS

There are middle aged people who begin to think of themselves as old. They even feel that way. They contend that their life as they know it is over. They feel that there is nothing else to do or try. They become resigned to the fact that because they are older, there is no newness as far as their life goes. There are some who believe that their 20s are the years when one achieves the ultimate success in their career and/or other life choice. They staunchly believe that once people reach their 30s, they are too old to try to attempt to do anything and should accept his/her fate. Instead of approaching middle age positively, they become embittered about the whole experience. There are middle aged people who have atavistically stereotypical ideas of how people should act at certain age periods of their lives.

Many people view youth as the Age of Promise when everything and/or anything is possible. They view middle and/or old age as the Age of Resignation. They also see middle and/or old age is the period of should/could have done and lost/never will get opportunities. Their lives are of regrets. They constantly bemoan that they should have pursued something whether it was an education, career, and/or other lifestyle choice while they were YOUNG. They believe that at their age, it is WAY TOO late for them to pursue anything, so they feel sad about their present period of their lives.

There are people who succumb to the societal construct that once people reach a certain age, they begin to act in accordance to the societal idea regarding that age. They start to lose their curiosity, sense of adventure, and general joie de vivre. They begin to act more cautious and risk averse. When they are inquired as to the change in their personality, their response is they are getting older and cannot do the activities they once enjoyed. They further assert that the aforementioned activities are for young people, not them.




IV. Agetitis- The UNSPOKEN, Even UNMENTIONABLE Disease Among Those Approaching Midlife and Beyond

Some people are victims of agetitis. These are the same people who believe that once they reach THAT age, they slow down, calm down, and find life to be more daunting. They lose what little vigor they have left. In other words, they begin to act old in accordance to the respective prevailing sociocultural definition.

There are those who strongly contend that when people reach old age particularly, they start to lose their physical and mental capabilities. They fail to realize that there are many vibrant people in their 60s and 70s. Some people insist that although there may be such people, they are quick to add that once people get into their 80s, they simply cannot do things for themselves. There are even old people who maintain that the average person in their 80s do not know who they are, even not knowing how their names are. So these old people, once they become 80, start to become incapacitated both physically and mentally because they equate 80 with incapacitation.

Many old people become what they think about by succumbing to their familial, cultural, and/or societal paradigms regarding age. There are people who once retired, actually retire from life physically, emotionally, and mentally. They do not use retirement as a venue to pursue new opportunities and ventures, doing the things they were unable to do while working. Many retirees feel unwanted and discarded. Such attitudes permeate their entire being, oftentimes with quite devastating and disastrous consequences.



V. Middle and/or Old Age is NO Excuse for Being........OLD, Really NOW

There are middle aged and older people who refuse to adhere to, even discarding, atavistic paradigms regarding aging. To them, age does not preclude them from trying new avenues, pursuing new adventures, and opportunities. However, their family members and/or friends tell them that they are "too old" to do these things. Sadly, many middle aged and older people yield to the negativity of their family and friends to try to rein them in, informing them what they doing is "totally inappropriate" for their age.

For example, some people may elect to either pursue and/or continue their education in their 50s or 60s, either for bachelor's or a more advanced degree. Many of their family members or friends believe that the 50s and/or 60s is way too old for people to pursue and/or continue an education because the latter cannot make a sizable contribution to society in comparison to younger people. These people will even be told by others that on the basis of their age, attending college and attaining a degree is a total waste of time although there are people who attend college, got degrees, and having new and/or second careers.

There are middle aged and/or older people who adhere to old familial and/or sociocultural paradigms regarding aging, suppressing their lifeforce thus becoming dejected and useless as they become older. There are people who believe that the issue of age is totally coincidental and circumstantial, spitting at such conventions. They are constantly evolving, learning, and growing as people. They are adherents to the belief that Rome was not built in a day. They believe that people do not have to do EVERYTHING when young. They feel that life consists of varied ages and/or stages, adding that people can do anything at any age as long as they are healthy physically and alert mentally.

These people will not subscribe to the paradigm that they cannot pursue certain and/or desired activities and/or dreams because of age. Many feel that they still have lots to conquer. They believe in living and not stopping until they are either totally incapacitated or dead. They will not let age stop them from travelling, pursuing further education, and/or a second, maybe third career. They maintain that they are youthful, intending to do even more as they get older.

Many middle aged and/or older people are still going strong. Think of dynamos such as Rita Moreno, 80;Joan Rivers, 78; and Betty White, 90, who are definitely NOT going to retire soon, if ever. These women are just getting FIERCER with age. More people should be like them and thunderous applause to those middle aged and/or older people who defy the old paradigms of aging!


CONCLUSION

Many people succumb to the old paradigm that one must slow down and/or regulate their lives once they hit the "age plateau". People have been indoctrinated in the premise that youth is the time to try and be everything and once people are no longer young, they simply should not be that adventurous and bold ever! Furthermore, people reach a "certain age" , they are told to "act their age", not "their shoe size". In other words, they must act like a "good middle aged and old people", being totally averse to adventure and opportunities, living their remaining years in utter and quiet desperation- in other words, being resigned to their fate, and waiting for their eventual demise.

Many middle aged andor older people are subjected to old aging paradigms from society, cultural, and so-called well-meaning family members, relatives, and/or friends. If they want to pursue avenues of adventures and new and unheard of opportunities, they are actively dissuaded and/or discouraged from doing such by their families, relatives, and friends. They are told to "stay in their place" and "to act accordingly to their respective ages."

Many middle aged and older people subconsciously believe that their lives are indeed over once they have reached their respective ages. They begin to lose interest and stop indulging in the activities they used to enjoy. They eventually succumb to the self-fulfilling prophecy regarding how people of their respective ages should act and think thus becoming such.

However, there are people who adamantly refuse to defer to old paradigms regarding aging. They live by their own paradigm regarding the issue of aging. They are of the thought that age is simply consequential and circumstantial. They refuse to permit age to interfere with what they wish to pursue and participate in. They believe in being totally youthful-for as long as possible. Yes, age is just that - a DESIGNATED number, no more, no less!







For More on the Subject

© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams

More by this Author


Comments 11 comments

Golfgal profile image

Golfgal 4 years ago from McKinney, Texas

Age is only a number. You are as young as you feel and can respond to that feeling. There are old 45 year olds and young 80 year olds.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

This is indeed true. It is ultimately our mental condition as to how we respond to and our respective attitude towards "age."


KrystalD profile image

KrystalD 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Just like race and sex, age is another characteristic that seems to get locked into stereotypes. Exceelent hub. It really made me think.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

I greatly thank you for your response. You are always welcome to stop by. Thank you again.


soumyasrajan 4 years ago from Mumbai India and often in USA

Nice article williams!

enjoyed reading all these stories. Yes it is true often people behave specially in western society way they are supposed to. India is a little different, specially place like Mumbai where I live. But you are also NY and brought up in Harlem (I liked your description of your self very much). My children are also just now in NY.

Is that also not very different?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

gmwilliams what an intelligent and smart hub gone up and great as a vote :) Frank


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you Frank. I appreciate your comments very much. God bless!


ElizaDoole profile image

ElizaDoole 4 years ago from London

I really enjoyed reading this. Your engaging writing style made it such an interesting and thought provoking article. Your are right about age. I think I've been middle aged since I was in my 20s, and my 20s were not that wonderful time of opportunity. I graduated university in a time of recession like this one, I could only find work as a secretary or in a bar. I hated my 20s. I'm living life now that I finally can, but it took a long time to get there. Thanks for writing this hub, voted up and awesome!


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you for your response. The same with me also. I graduated from college in the late 1970s where there was a recession. I took a typing job until I could do better. That was a sad time for me also. Things got better for me as I got older. Age is only a number and no more, no less.


fiftyish profile image

fiftyish 3 years ago from UK & Southeast Asian Region

Interesting article. The reality is that the workplace has gotten a lot younger this past generation. Skills experience is become an obsolete quality in a world that changes so very fast. 'Working' experience is still a valuable asset, but very few employers seem interested in it these days. The amount of middle-aged people spending thousands on cosmetic surgery has gone through the roof in the west, not for reasons of vanity, but because older people think a more youthful look will help them compete better at job interviews.

It doesn't matter if you look great for your age, and are as good as or better than the younger generations, the harsh reality is that society as a whole, and particularly the jobs market, looks down on middle-aged and older people. I think it's just a sign of the times, and perhaps attitudes and outlooks will change yet again in a generation from now.

I know the above probably sounds a little pessimistic, but as a middle-aged bloke who's been out of work at age 40, I got to experience ageism first hand. I'm 52 now, and dread to think what it would be like trying to compete in IT related jobs now if I had to.

Andy Aitch


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

Thank you for your insightful response.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working