Live spontaneously at any age

I love to walk barefoot in the summertime and feel the grass tickle my toes. And I love to walk barefoot in the winter and feel the softness and the warmth of the rug on the bottoms of my feet.
I love to let my dishes go without washing while I sit in my La-Z-Boy chair watching “Green Acres.” I love to have dandelions in my flower garden so I can make a dandelion chain.
I love to play bridge with the computer after midnight. And I love to take a nap in the afternoon.
I can identify perfectly with Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem, “Portrait of a Neighbor.” I would love to have a neighbor just like hers. Or better yet, I would prefer to be the neighbor.
Before she has done her dishes, “Any day you’ll find her/A sunning in the sun!” She’s still up at midnight, and she never arises till past 10 o’clock.
“She weeds her lazy lettuce/By the light of the moon.” And when she mows her yard, “She leaves the clover standing/And the Queen Anne’s lace!”
She would be a perfect candidate for the Red Hat Society. This society is a “disorganization” of women over 50 who have adopted Jenny Joseph’s famous poem as their theme—“Warning: When I am an old woman I shall wear purple/With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.”
The Red Hat Society is made up of women who are tired of living their lives the way other people have told them to. They make a bold unfashionable statement with their purple dresses and the most outrageous red hats they can find.
And they traditionally meet for tea in Victorian style on Sunday afternoons.
Begun two years ago, the Red Hat Society now has 200 chapters in the United States. The only rule in the society is that there are no rules. It’s a society for women who want to greet middle age with humour and want to defy the stereotypes of aging.
Jenny’s classic poem about defying convention in old age was written when she was 29. Now she is 65, and her listing in the “Dictionary of Literary Biography—Poets of Great Britain and Ireland” defines her as a major poet in England.
Her biography is four pages long yet makes no mention of “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple.”
Nevertheless, the people of England and of the world have espoused “When I am an old woman . . .” as their own. And Souvenir Press has issued the eighth printing of her poem with delightful drawings by Pythia Ashton-Jewell, which would make a wonderful gift.
At age 29, Joseph looked forward to getting old when she could “make up for the sobriety of my youth.” And do foolish things like press alarm bells and go out in the rain in her slippers.
But she ends her poem my saying, “Maybe I ought to practice a little now” so that people will not be too shocked “When suddenly, I am old and start to wear purple.”
In her biographic sketch, Joseph is described as “a lover of coal fires and a serendipitous wayfarer, a highly-trained mind that does not know the meaning of boredom.”
Without a doubt, she has lived her whole life spontaneously.
So how about you, are you tired of living your life the way other people have told you to? Why not break away right now. You can live a spontaneous life at any age.

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