Aging Doesn’t Have to Mean Old

Five AliveWhy is five, more alive, than sixty-five?  As children, wisdom is simple, not contrived.   You’d think that with age comes wisdom, not so.  Somewhere along the way, wisdom dissolves into reason and logic, as my friends’ daughter reminded me the other evening.

While I prepared to water the lawn in my typically reserved-task-oriented-creature-of-habit-somewhat-uptight kind of way, she rolled up her sleeves to battle my adult-y reasonableness. (Okay that sleeve-rolling, battling idea is a metaphor.)  Our first “clash” took place when she requested to drink from the hose, and I immediately tried to limit her.  “Don’t put your mouth on the nozzle!”, “Don’t spray too hard, you’ll hurt yourself!”–trying to squeeze the nozzle slowly and gently myself.   Of course, she being smarter than me said, “I’ll do it myself, Jilly. Please. Let. Go.”  From that moment, she transformed an ordinary task into a campaign to be more alive and less contrived.

“Look, Jilly!” she exclaimed with excitement.  “The water’s orange!”  Sure enough the neighbor’s outdoor lights were casting an orange glow through the water, but she saw orange juice.  “Ummmm, swah-weet orange!  You wanna try some?” she offered as she shoved the nozzle in my direction.  Then, she started dancing, drinking lemonade, lime juice, strawberry, mango, pomegranate, and “Limelemoneyorange-ade!  That’s a magical potion, Jilly!”  What I didn’t realize at the time is she wasn’t just asking me to remove my sticky paws from the hose, she was asking me to open up to the cool breeze, the night’s quiet, the soft light filtering through the spray mist, and a whole other world.


Still unconvinced of the need to let loose, she continued her quest, undaunted. When she shot the water over the fence, immediately, I asked her to stop, fearing the unsuspecting neighbor would be angered.  She laughed and continued spraying over the fence, toward the trees above, bathing the Buddhist prayer flags blowing in the breeze over head, all over–giggling like a maniacal magician–rebuffing my attempts to stay serious and task oriented.  She finally broke through when she said, “I’m bathing the prayers and the people in the flags so the can be free.  Isn’t that good, Jilly?”   Before I could answer, she then commanded, “You look out for the neighbors, and tell me if they’re coming okay.”   I started laughing, that all adult-like reasoning was no match for youthful wisdom. Then, she suddenly, laid down the hose and declared, “All done. Gotta go!” like she was laying down her sword, the battle over. And, just to drive the point home she began singing Sheryl Crow’s “Soak Up the Sun” chorus, “I’m gonna tell every-one…I’m gonna tell eeeev-vry-one to light-ten up…” as she walked away.

There is no cure for aging.  But, that doesn’t mean we have to get old (read: cantankerous and obstinate).  Wishing you all the transformation to “Five…..ALIVE!” today.

Photo Credit: & Creative Marbles Consultancy, 2013

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About Jill Yoshikawa, Ed M, Partner of Creative Marbles Consultancy

Jill Yoshikawa, EdM, Harvard ’99, a seasoned, 25 year educator and consultant, is meticulous in helping clients navigate all aspects of the educational experience, no matter the level of complexity. She combines educational theory with experience to advise families, schools and educators. A UCSD and Harvard graduate, as well as a former high school teacher, Jill works tirelessly to help her clients succeed.
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