I call my clients mature, that’s if they are in or around my age bracket, mature, hmmmm it is a bit PC isn’t it? Personally I am still waiting to feel like a grown up, I currently feel about 27 most days.
When I use that word (mature) it’s not about age, it’s more about life experience and self-knowledge, you’ve been there and done some stuff, so I’m labelling that experience mature for want of a better word. And that seems to come hand in hand with aging, something I no longer see as a dirty word.
The biggest value of aging is the wonderful quality of “I don’t give a shit-ed-ness”.
You can apply that mantra to many aspects of life. I see that as a bonus, you know who you are, you know what you are good at and not so good at, you care far less what people think, and it gives us parlance to bring out that little weirdo inside (people will think you are eccentric, better than being boring I say).
Aging indeed has value.
As the gammy knees and dodgy hips signal not so subtle declines in your physical being, I think to myself “I ran a lot of K’s to get those knees, they are hard earned”. For the most part they meant I could walk the Annapurna Trail without expiring… I got to see an avalanche on the North Face of the Eiger and my favourite, traversing the planes of Botswana behind the diminutive athletic San People.
These knees have seen a lot.
So if my knees have a lot to talk about, I figure, I should talk to as many mature knees as I can.
Those knees are attached to some of the sharpest minds I have ever met. The benefit of being less focused on the perfection of the external is realising that your mind will still get you anywhere you want to go.
One of my mature conversations was with my dad and his 83 year old knees.
He lived through the depression in NZ, became a fighter pilot in training at 19 during WWII, returned with a sense of adventure that saw him hitchhike through Australia in the 1940’s and jump from one career to another. Freezing Worker, wannabe Priest, training college to became a Teacher and finally seeing out his career in Banking.
And you thought Millennials started this trend of job-hopping. Nope, it was my dad.
So I no longer care that I am let’s say, over 45, and my bits are changing, I am imperfect and never likely to return to my heyday of hot-ed-ness. I care about what I can still achieve, where my mind can take me and that there are no barriers to my thinking and therefore to my life. I care little about what others think I should be doing, how I should look or whether I fit in with the expectations of my age.
I still run, ok more of a jog these days, and I will continue as long as these knees let me. And when I cannot I know that I can set my mind to a new challenge, perhaps being a cyclist.
I will use my maturity to benefit my clients, perhaps so they can avoid some the pitfalls I went through. I have learnt to be straightforward and unafraid in my conversations, and through that inspire confidence in the people I work with. I have learnt to laugh at myself and my imperfections and hope that my clients embrace their own uniqueness.
At this point, I can’t see much wrong with aging, I just see uses for it.
And whilst that svelt trim and lean bod of my 20’s and 30’s has changed, it doesn’t mean I can’t still rock a Jimmy Choo heel and you won’t ever see me leaving home without my war paint.
One has standards.
My best ideas and adventures are still ahead of me.
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Well said Kirsty!