Age is a question of mind over matter

Pooja Bedi

Pooja Bedi represents the uninhibited, strong willed, personally and professionally successful modern Indian woman who has donned many hats. Her prolific career spans the worl

My son just turned 21! My daughter is 23 and all of a sudden there’s this incredible realisation that my kids aren’t kids anymore! OMG! I have raised full-fledged adults and what an incredible parenting journey it has been. I am overwhelmed and also suddenly so free. I know that they will always be my babies and that I will probably jump on them and kiss their cheeks and snuggle up with them forever, much to their constant amusement and irritation, but I also know that I can let them be. 21 is just an age, nothing really changes from the day before the birthday to the day after the birthday, yet it’s a massive psychological barrier that’s been crossed. Very much like us turning 20 and not being teenagers anymore, the milestone of 30 or the “over the hill at 40” and the OMG! I’m half a century old feeling I had last year. So much is conditioned into us by society about timelines and how we should feel, how we should age, how we should behave at every age, what are momentous occasions and what defines our chronological journey. My mother defied all conventions. When she was 45 she was asked what her age was and she said, “please be specific.

Emotionally I’m 16, Mentally I’m 60, Spiritually I’m 1000’s of years old and physically…. Somewhere between 1 and 100, how does it matter!!!” We all have different journeys, and the joy of being on this planet is to enjoy every age and stage to it’s fullest. There are so many who let go of the buoyancy of youth to fit into a pre-set idea of decorum an adult must exhibit. There are no formulas and it’s only a notion of what every decade brings with it, that is dinned into our heads from birth.

It’s actually interesting to note that psychologically I’m in every way conditioned to also see age and ageing as relevant to numbers and despite my constant effort to not be victim to it, how subconsciously it clearly has it’s hold. Much inspired by mom, I am going to work at identifying my different ages- mental, emotional, physical and spiritual and give each one it’s due respect and not expect conformity from them. It’s time to truly be free, because true freedom lies not in your circumstances, but in your mind and in your choices. You are only as free, as old and as limited as your perspective. Make sure it’s your perspective and not pre-conditioning.

1.My fiance and I were keen to get married last year, but due to the pandemic it was cancelled. We’re looking at dates now and can’t seem to agree on one. If we find a date then our families have a say. What’s the best way to get everyone to be on the same page?

Make a whatsapp group chat which includes all key decision makers with equal representation from both families and ask for inputs on auspicious dates/ schedules and take a consensus there. If it’s still chaotic then you and your fiancée should agree on 2 dates that work well for the both of you and which don’t clash with anything important and put those on chat. State it has to be a majority poll and that you would love for everyone to make the effort to adjust their other schedules and be present for something that means a lot to the two of you.

2.I have a teenage son and he’s constantly checking his phone for messages. I think he may have a girlfriend. How should I approach the topic and ask him about it? I don’t want to be pushy, I just want to be supportive as apparent. Please let me know how…

Who is at the other end doesn’t matter, what matters is that you communicate to him in general about ages and stages, and how different aspects will begin in his life and what all he should do to handle himself with grace and manners and decency. If he feels you’re someone he can confide in and talk to without judgement he will definitely share more and more about his life. This is entirely dependent on your reactions, so keep it positive, encouraging and respectful.

3.I love my boyfriend and we also have a good rapport with each other’s families. But lately I find that all our time together has been with his friends and family. I don’t find it fair. What do I do? I don’t want to end this relationship. I really want ‘us’ to be ‘us’ and also include friends and family. Is it too much I am asking for? What should I do?

Communicate, communicate, communicate! Tell him you really enjoy solo time with him and that it matters greatly to you. Make a pact to have a 2:1 ratio of solo:family time. Make sure he knows well and proper that you adore his family and friends and hope it’s mutual. Point out gently that the reason you two are a couple is because each other matter the most, and that needs to be nurtured, focussed on and strengthened at all times.



Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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