How old is too old? This question becomes increasingly pertinent as I plow through my 40s. Every time I see a woman with a tiny jewel on the side of her nose, I want one. Roughly every three months I decide – again – that I should get another tattoo. The other night I lay in bed with my husband and told him that we should ditch our lives here in LA and move to Scotland, where he was born. I still insist on wearing a toe ring and an ankle bracelet. The list goes on and on.
20 years ago I would have acted on my impulses immediately, but these days they arrive in my consciousness through the scrim of being married, my desire for fiscal responsibility (and, god forbid, abundance), and a sense of how my body has changed. In other words, my decisions now affect my husband. And I’m no longer in a position to think that no matter how I look, the marketplace will love me for my skills and talent. Not only that, body modification looks different on a lean, toned hipster than a middle aged woman at the dog park.
With age comes wisdom, and what keeps me from following through on most of my crazy ideas (I want platinum hair like Annie Lennox’s and I want it now!) is my fear of looking like I’m trying too hard to be young and hip… like I’m trying to hold onto the past. If part of growing older and wiser is accepting and loving yourself, I guess I’ve decided that some symbols of individuality are best left to those who can pull them off. Getting my toenails painted black at the nail salon is about as far as I can go these days — and I’ll take it.
Do you have any impulses that keep resurfacing again and again? Can you go through with any of them without causing harm to humans — yourself or others? Indulge yourself in some impulse at least once a week, even if your impulses are much less grand than they used to be.