Aging as a Metaphor

Our culture is hard on people who are no longer young. We’re criticized for aging—a normal process that happens to everybody! That’s why Susan wanted to create a new age category, Timeless. She wrote about it in an early article (pre-Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway) called, “A New Look at Wrinkles.” In the article she talks about how crazy it is to call someone old when they are full of experience and full of life. She was also critical of society’s language and ideas about aging:

“The allegories about aging need to be changed. What is more depressing than the idea of life going from spring to summer to autumn to winter? What could be more bleak than contemplating “the winter of our lives.” That is, of course, unless you’re talking about spending a few romantic months skiing in Switzerland with the love in your life. Garson Kanin wrote a wonderful book titled, It Takes a Long Time to Become Young. I agree. Young people are so bogged down with the heaviness of inexperience. Everything is a crisis. So much is serious and black. Aging, thankfully, brings with it an openness, a blooming, and a richness of spirit. Certainly, the older I get the more spring-like I feel … and it shows!”

Here are some ideas about new metaphors for growing older … and Timeless.

Experience and age are like money in a bank, it builds up over time making us rich! Or, like diamonds it takes years of pressure to look so good. Of course, a common way to refer to aging is like a fine wine or expensive liquor. There is this quote from Robert Farrar Capon, “Older women are like aging strudels—the crust may not be so lovely, but the filling has come into its own.” Can you think of any more?

We’ll leave you with this gem from David Mamet, “Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.”