This was originally posted to my column on the Sixty & Me website a couple of weeks ago – and now you can read it here too!!
It’s not just our joints that we need to keep flexible as we get older.
The trouble is we find a way of doing things that works well for us. There’s very little incentive to change, until one day we discover that things have moved on and no-one does it like that anymore!
I needed to use my mobile phone the other day – and when I took it out the person I was with laughed at it. I realised that my perfectly serviceable Apple iPhone is now about 10 years old. Phones don’t even look like that anymore. So – do I buy a new phone just because mine is looking a bit dated? Or do I save my money and risk being laughed at in the street? I bet the last person to use a quill pen had the same thoughts about upgrading to a fountain pen.
Fashion changes, obviously. And we change too – so what might have suited 20-year-old you or 30-year-old-you might not work for 60-year-old-you. I’ve lived through miniskirts, hot pants, flares, peasant blouses, shoulder pads, afghan coats, kitten heels, leggings (twice), hoodies, desert boots, and platform soles. I think I could still rock the flares – but hot pants? Probably not…
Hemlines change. Trouser legs change. Heels change. Even the way to carry a handbag changes. That doesn’t mean we have to follow every whim of the fashion industry – but we have to stay open minded. Never say never!!
And tech changes quicker than anything. What do you use your mobile phone for? Of all the things you can do with a mobile phone, making an actual phone call isn’t even in the top 10 anymore.
As for landlines – only old people give their landline number when asked for their phone number. In 2019 in the UK, 21% of households didn’t have a landline phone at all.
Fewer and fewer people wear watches, because their phone has the time on it.
We do have to try and keep up!!
When someone suggests something new, something out of the ordinary, something different, what’s your default setting? Do you immediately think, ‘Oh, no, that’s not for me’ or do you think, ‘Oo, that sounds interesting, let’s give it a go’? Do you actively seek out the latest thing, or do you enjoy the comfort of the familiar?
What’s your attitude to food – how willing are you to try something new? Smashed avocado, dukkah spice, sriracha? Or do you prefer to stick to what you know?
How about visiting new places? Maybe you’re happier going back to the same place every year on holiday. Maybe you feel safer driving on roads that you’re familiar with. Or maybe you have a bucket list of places to see and you spend your holidays ticking them off. As I’m newly-single, I’m discovering the joy of being able to go where I want, when I want. Here’s what I got up to on my Road Trip – some familiar places, some new places.
And the same goes for TV programmes, films, music, books, the way we do our make-up and a gazillion other things.
One of my colleagues* asked me the other day if I would ever get a tattoo. The honest answer is probably not – but who knows? It’s perfectly possible. If I did, I think it would be a beautiful butterfly on my right shoulder blade. I can’t say for sure that I would never have one done. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think – why not?
That’s not to say we have to blow with the wind. Some things are not for changing. The important thing is to stay open to possibilities. Don’t automatically say no to something you haven’t tried before. Don’t avoid the new simply because it’s new. Don’t say no – say ‘Why not?’
What tattoo would you get, if you were going to get a tattoo?
(*Since I wrote this, my colleague has offered to book me in at his preferred tattoo parlour, and come with me for moral support…)
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