Mid-range elders

The other day I got to drive some footage for a couple of docs we’re shooting from Tucson to Phoenix. It felt like a spy mission because the tiny memory card in my pocket can make or break days of shooting and thousands of dollars (no pressure!).

We always keep 2 copies of the footage in 2 different spaces, so if one is lost, stolen, or melts in the sun we still have the footage. It’s a trip how often this actually happens and films are lost. Apparently, Julia Cameron went through this in the ’80s when all of the sound from her film was totally lost.

On the way home from Phoenix (after buying out the vegan pastry case at The Cornado and getting a sammy from Green), I listened to the Emergent Strategy episode featuring MawuLisa Thomas Adeyemo. She focuses her work on the body, asking us to start with our personal temple. What are we putting in our bodies and minds?

A convo about eating what’s right for us moved to gardening and eventually aging. MawuLisa talked about being 45, realizing they’re becoming an elder, and are thinking about what that means. They’re trying to embrace this important stage, preparing by asking themselves who they are and what are they teaching the youth?

In a society that tells us we should figure out a way to be young forever I love folks who openly embrace aging—my friend Jacob being the first in my life I ever heard talk about being excited to get older.

When I think of my own aging body and mind, part of my brain (inner-hater McGee) loves to diss. “Oh cool, you’re happy with being old? Guess you’re done living, striving, and questioning.” My practice is noticing this unconscious BS synonymous with aging in my head and doing the work I need to do to live my current truth and possibility.

Age, time, and experience help us get used to being comfy being us. This doesn’t need to mean complacency, but more owning and sharing who we are. I love MawuLisa’s perspective. it’s ok to be like, I’m older than these folks, and to make that cause to be a leader. Feels like ridiculously dope and necessary motivation for growth!

There is SO MUCH LEFT TO LEARN. We’re never done. Forever intimidating amounts but we just have to continue growing and honoring our hype selves and capabilities—whatever that looks like for us.

A friend of mine is 47 and recently shared a bit about how they were missing their prime. I tried to gracefully notice they seem to be doing pretty amazing stuff right now. Had their life really peaked 20 years ago? I loved their response. They talked about missing the energy they had back then and being OK with recognizing the era as a magic time in their life. Not better, just very different.

I shared MawuLisa’s Emergent Strategy episode with her and after classicly overthinking it for a bit. She thanked me and I thanked her for sharing her perspective. She has a perspective I’m still on my way to realizing. My job is at least in part to listen and learn, while of course staying on whatever this path looks like for me.

Full love to thinking about those times when we knew we were crushing. My hope is to learn from these experiences. What does that vibe look like today, knowing what I know now, and realizing I’m still everything I was, just with even more knowledge and experience on top? That things will never be what they were, and how this is not only OK but so dope to get to build something new, here, today.