How Old Are You?

Isn’t it amazing when you ask a young person this question they will tell you, five and a half, six and three quarters, and then there is the infamous 14 and nine months. (the age you can start driver’s training) However, as we get older the 1/2’s seem to drop off; worse yet are the people that hit 39 and never get any older.

I’m blogging this week to talk about my version of what I think the 1/2 added to our age should represent as we get older. You see, I have learned that no matter how old we are, we still move about and function as the children we were during recess in grade school. The way we resolved issues back then is more than likely the way we do it today. Think about it, the bullies on the playground usually grow up to be the bullies at work. They don’t always use their fist or openly bully others, they show up with aggressive body language, biting sarcasm and secretly rallying the support of others behind closed doors. It’s the same old thing…grade school recess becomes the break room at work or the cafeteria.

If you were the silent partner in the relationship with your BFF when you were 10 1/2 more than likely that is how you show up today and function in other relationships. Without the awareness of our behavior patterns we repeat the same cycle over and over again. I was the loud cheerleader type at recess who just loved to have a good time! I was the one chanting all of the cheers and getting everyone else involved. Oh yes, we were going to have a good time on the playground. (Ecclesiastes 3:4) Well how did that show up in my adult life? I was the one in conversations who could not keep my mouth shut long enough for someone else to finish their thought. I was the one who thought that everything should be a party. I was the one who felt they had to shoulder the responsibility of everyone in my presence having a good time. Whew! as an adult that can be exhausting.

For six years, I was blessed to have a boss who could see right through me. (Toni Flowers-Jefferson) She was also very skilled at holding up the mirror for me to see myself just in case the mirror I looked into was cloudy. She played a very pivotal role in my life in helping me to see the person I was on the playground. She frequently took me back to grade school recess mentally and emotionally to teach me vital lessons about myself and others. It was Ms. Flowers-Jefferson who taught me the value of watching children play during recess. With this awareness I started to make changes in the way I communicate and the way I show up in relationships. I now take a 1/2 a minute and access the situation, the environment and the relationship I’m in at that moment. I then take another 1/2 a minute to quiet my mind and focus my thoughts so that I can be fully present in conversations and not interrupt others. For I am now keenly aware that great things happen in the silence. (Ecclesiastes 3:7)

Things are different on my playground now, at 50 1/2 years of age, I am relieved to know that it’s not my responsibility to make sure everyone has a good time. I can choose to do that if I want. My relationships have moved to a deeper level because instead just listening with my ears, I have learned to listen with my heart and dwell in the quiet spaces with others if they choose silence. Instead of always being the cheerleader…I am now the person who inspires others to create their own cheers and I have found great enjoyment in standing on the sidelines watching them flourish. I am proud to say that pausing for a ½ minute has allowed me to add that ½ to my age when people ask the question, “How old are you?”

For your Journal: Okay ladies…How old are you and who were you on the playground? If you practiced pausing for a ½ minute, what would you change in your behavior?

10 thoughts on “How Old Are You?”

  1. I am 40 3/4 years old. I was the kid on the playground who played with everyone and who just loved to talk. I always attracted a group of friends who were quite diverse and nothing like me. Even as a kid I allowed kids to play with me that I didn’t necessarily like. I never wanted to upset anyone I was always trying to keep the peace. Until one day I allowed this one girl to be my friend and she was mean to me and bossed me around. I did not like her but I could not figure out how to not be her friend. She chased me home almost everyday, she scared me until I finally could not take anymore. Eventually, I stood up for myself and refused to play with her anymore.We eventually continued playing with each other but on my terms.

    As a Adult, I no longer allow people to attach themselves to me that I did not ask to be in a relationship with. I do still talk to everyone and play with everyone but on my own terms now. The great thing about being an adult is that I know who I am, what I want and who I want to play with.

    Recess for me would be relaxing, fun, upbeat and plenty of laughter.

    1. Wow Keeshi…thank you for the trip down memory lane. 40 3/4, what a great age! The 40’s are fabulous, it’s like you have a new found awareness of who you are and the strength and courage to speak up. Your recess as an adult sounds like our next Coffee with Cathy…see you Saturday. You are truly brewing a robust life. See you soon my friend!

    2. Hello, I am 38 3/4 yrs. old. I was that kid on the play ground that wanted to have fun until recess was over. I was that kid that would talk alot but quiet to others I didn’t know. When I went home from school that’s when I was quiet because things where going on at home that silenced me. But as I became an adult I understood that I no longer had to be the fun one, just be myself and take a RECESS

      1. News flash Tomeca, you still are the fun one. You bring such joy and positive energy into your space and that of others. I guess the reward is in knowing that you don’t have to “BE” that way…it’s just who you are.

  2. Hi Cathy and ladies of this forum! This post brings back some real sad feelings for me. It speaks to so many facets of my life! I must say, as a child, I was very quiet, shy, and uncomfortable with who I was. I was a loner on the playground. I hated recess time. I used to look for every reason I could find not to have to go out. Asking help In the class to not feeling well, none of it worked. So I stood alone in whatever corner I could find until recess was over. I guess that’s why as an adult I tend to talk too much and not listen very well maybe trying to make up for lost time. I have in recent years realized that listening is just as important as being heard. It’s such a blessing to have a wonderful group of women with wisdom and knowledge around me to talk to and listen to when we need them. Shout out to Tony Flowers! We miss you so much! May God continue to bless your life!

    1. Thank you Kiki for sharing your story. It is such a privilege to be in this space with all of you. I’m so glad you no longer stand alone. You have so much to give, you are an awesome care giver. Your smile and your presence can light up any room. I’m blessed to have met you and be on this journey with you. I would have played with you on the playground, I would have taught you some of my cheers. I am now privileged to stand on the side lines and create a space for so many to catch up on what was unsaid during recess. Thank you again for sharing your story. Looking forward to seeing you Saturday at CWC;-)

  3. Very nice. I love it..I was the quiet one on the playground but I have truly made up for that through the years. I love the listening skills you have developed. I am going to try to work on implementing them because I can definitely see how they would be very instrumental in communicating with others.

    1. Thank you Donna…I think you have found the balance. You’ve been a great listener when I’ve needed an ear and a heart to lean on. Listening can be such gift and it’s also the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks for being you;-)

  4. You took me down memory lane, at recess, i was always liked by people, and surrounded by a good, yet small group of loyal friends. One day I had an enemy (something very rare) and she was ready to fight me. She pushed me first, and I fell. After that push, I put up my white flag and surrendered, very quickly!! Realizing, I was a lover and not a fighter. I’ve always sought peace no matter the cost.

    Now I am 28 and a quater 😉 lol and I have learned that meekness has its place but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

    In seeking peace, I took the unhealthy path of allowing others to walk all over me, and always receiving the short end of the stick which the enemy had a field goal with. Bringing forth timidity, fear, insecurity.

    Instead of being an influence, I sat back and never allowed my light to shine.

    My father is rich, my Father loves me, Yes he wants me to be a peacemaker but not when the kingdom needs fierceness.

    I am confident, I am strong, I am Bold because I am His righteous seed.

    1. Wow…beautifully said Danai! Thank you for joining our discussion, seeking peace also means being able to be at peace with ourselves. What a blessing it is that you have found strength in our Heavenly Father to be confident, strong and bold. Can you imagine what recess would be like for you now? (Matthew 5:16)

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