Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Being an Outlier Sucks!

I wrote a story for my grandchildren last winter and part of the story involved making friends. I created a list of ideas for how you might do that. One of those ideas was to become invisible.

The thought was that if you were nice to everyone, cooperated and called everyone by name you would become more interesting and likable. For the child being invisible was all about fitting in.

On the flip side, the idea of  being invisible is not good for the elders. Elders can fit in so well that they become a part of the furniture. It is the last thing we want. We really don’t want to have to shout over everyone to be heard. Being invisible sucks! To hear elders talk a person begins to think that older people are put upon and need more than anyone should be asked to give. Are we abused? I truly doubt it. Continue reading....

So, when I was reading Engaging with Age again the other day I noticed that the author talked about being invisible. She called that experience being an “outlier”. As elders we fit the definition for that word perfectly...we are best example of the geology of the outlier: we are the older rocks among the younger rock.
Old Rocks Need to Get Involved
out·li·er
/ˈoutˌlīər/
noun
  1. a person or thing situated away or detached from the main body or system.
    "less accessible islands and outliers"
    • a person or thing differing from all other members of a particular group or set.
      "an outlier in Faulkner's body of work"
    • a younger rock formation isolated among older rocks. (Or in our case, older rocks isolated among younger rocks.)
All is not hopeless though. I felt that the task the author of that blog set out for herself to overcome becoming an outlier was one that required her to act, not one that had everyone else changing. She speaks often of collaborating with family, friends and even her doctors.

She said that we need to find ways to develop new relationships with people. By finding a way to fit in among the younger rocks we needed to go their world and show an interest in them. In our world of elders it is easy to become so impressed with our own knowledge that we forget that younger people know stuff too. It is simply that simple!

I find her words so very interesting. Engaging with her age means just that...engaging actively.

What do you think? Are you engaging with your age or are you waiting for the world to make your elder life easier?


b+

Reference: Engaging with Aging post called As I’m Green I’m Growing

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