Is age just a number? I think not.
I eventually stepped into some of the wisdom — and reality — of my life. And I’m more than okay with it — I’m so happy to be where I am. I might not be able to stay up all night and party anymore, but I don’t really care
In less than two weeks, I turn 60. WTF?? It seriously boggles my mind.
I’m utterly fascinated by age and the aging process. My age fixation is a wonderment, not despair. I’m not depressed or trying to deny where I’m at in life. I celebrate each passing year with increasing gratitude and a stronger sense of who I am.
I’ve learned to find the joy and see the beauty in the small things — the rabbit hopping across the trail, the sunflowers reaching up to the sun, the ecstasy of freshly baked bread.
I wasn’t always like this. In my 20s, 30s and 40s, I wanted more, more, more. I never felt successful enough, pretty enough, smart enough, etc, so I was always striving for something outside of me. I was always comparing myself to other people and trying to be something I wasn’t meant to be. Why did I care so much?
I wasn’t capable of appreciating what I had and looked more toward what I thought I should be. I defined myself by the success of other people and by societal standards that are impossible to reach. No matter how successful, how well off, how whatever I was, there was always someone with something more. Now I understand that happiness and contentment can never be found outside of oneself.
Age is so much more than a number. It’s a signpost of our growing wisdom, gained through life experience, should we choose to grow inwardly with our years.
There is a tradeoff in our lives. When we’re young, we have the energy, flexibility and youthful drive that allows us to stay up all night dancing or talking with friends. We have the physical endurance to do so many things, and we bounce back quickly.
When I was younger and living in New York City, I never went out before 10 pm. Now I’m getting ready for bed around then.
When I was younger, I was focused on career, making friends, doing cool and fun things — always striving, striving, striving. I was going to be different — I was always going to go out all hours day and night; I was always going to work 12–14 hours days; I was always going to go, go, go. I had to go out every weekend — FOMO is a disease of the young.
I eventually stepped into some of the wisdom — and reality — of my life. And I’m more than okay with it — I’m so happy to be where I am. I might not be able to stay up all night and party anymore, but I don’t really care — I mean, I don’t even drink anymore. And I don’t need to be better than the person next to me — I’m just looking for my own peace and contentment.
I don’t have the physical strength or stamina that I had in my youth. An all-nighter would probably leave me with three days worth of jet lag. I can’t do a full squat anymore, and even though I’m working on it, my knees might have seen their best days. You should see me try to get up off the floor — not pretty!
And, yes, I’m adding more stretching into my routine and am working on getting back at least that type of flexibility, but it doesn’t mean as much to me today. I eat well (most of the time); I exercise most days; I look after myself within my body limits — and it’s all good.
What I might lack on a physical and material level, I more than make up for on a mental, emotional and spiritual level. I now have the ability to stretch and be flexible inside myself. I don’t get as riled up over what other people have to say; I’m learning to set healthy boundaries; I’m learning to let go and let things be as they are.
One of the best aspects of being where I am today is the amount of stress I’ve let go — that’s probably the healthiest thing I could do for myself at any age.
Is there meaning to age? Yes, there is. But not what society tells us. 60 is not old, decrepit, ready to die — unless you’ve given up on yourself as some people undoubtedly have. To me, 60 is the beginning of the third chapter of my life, the one where I pull together all that I’ve learned as I present myself to the world as I am — and as I want to be.
I can’t wait for this next decade — now is my time to go kick some ass!
Diane Hatz is a social entrepreneur and creative changemaker working to build a more healthful, sustainable, equitable world, with a focus on food and farming.
As CEO founder of Whole Healthy Group LLC, Diane consults and develops creative projects to motivate people to take action to create a better world. She helps individuals, companies and organizations strategize, raise awareness and educate others through planning and hosting events as well as developing and implementing various marketing campaigns. In 2018-2019, she was an Impact Producer at Participant, the film company behind Food, Inc.
As founder & executive director of the nonprofit Change Food®, Diane works to create a healthy food system for people, animals and the planet. “Plant Eat Share” promotes efforts to grow and provide free food. In 2020 she co-founded a community fridge in the East Village, NYC.
Diane was founder and organizer of TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” from 2010 – 2015. She was involved with the TED and TEDActive community for many years and brought the issue of food waste to them in 2013 with her talk at their annual event. She has worked in food advocacy for over 20 years.
Diane has mentored artists creating projects around food and farming through the Creative Capital Foundation and mentored startups and entrepreneurs at food accelerator Food-X. She is currently Board Chair for AgArts, a nonprofit imagining a healthy food system through the arts.
She is the author of Rock Gods of Acht, a surrealistic fictional novel about the demise of the corporate music industry in the 1990s. In her spare time, Diane is rediscovering her joy of writing and fosters rescue dogs.
Subscribe to Diane's substack here.
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