Aaaahhhhh, sigh of relief. The forties are now the twenties, the fifties are now the thirties, which makes this new millennium one of new energy, new action, and new commitments. In the past ten years of this new millennium we have each subtracted just as many years from our age! Sigh of relief again here. Whoever thought of this trend and helped it to catch on needs a big high five, a huge piece of cake, and free ice cream for life as a thank you. Now that we each have the opportunity to rewind and revisit younger versions of ourselves even though we are still getting chronologically older, how can we use this gift of extra time to our advantage?
It is odd though because only fifty years ago our elders acted as though they understood the passing of time better than we do today. Even though our grandparents and great-grandparents donned babushkas instead of Gucci sunglasses and a fresh coat of blonde hair, they got their green on better than we do now.
How can that be, you may wonder? How can it be that despite their lack of stylish and trendy appearance, their lack of understanding that their age of sixty really meant forty, their use of canes instead of participation in zumba classes, that they were groovin’ green better than we?! Well, they were.
I recall my Grandma Vi washing out a paper cup to be used again when she visited our house during a birthday celebration. Even though I was a child I distinctly remember her standing at the sink, with the sunlight streaming in through the window, explaining, “Do not waste. Reuse things as many times as you can. The world is not as big as you think.” I don’t think the word “recycle” was trendy back then, but it sure was in practice daily at Grandma Vi’s home and in any home she visited.
Grandma Vi took care of the most amazing garden I have ever seen. This garden contained plants that her parents bought over from Europe, Candytuft and Queen Anne’s Lace, to name a few. I sat beneath magnolia trees and looked out at the butterflies helping the garden along, and Grandma Vi watering plants by hand. I don’t think the word “organic” was trendy back then, but it sure was in practice daily in Grandma Vi’s and her friends’ gardens.
My Grandmother, back then, may not have thought that she had the energy of a woman twenty years younger than her, but she did have the wisdom of a woman her age. She tried to teach me that no matter what age, no matter what our level of energy, we could all do something, anything, each and every day to make sure our Earth stays healthy. She knew that if each and every person got their green on in some way each day, then the world could truly stay beautiful. Now we have extra energy, extra years it seems, and hopefully extra wisdom from our seemingly smaller, more interconnected world. All of these add up to infinite ways to get our green on everyday.
At the age of sixty we can look fabulously trendy in our recycled sneakers during our hike, and then afterward using our reusable mug for tea at the local organic tea shop. At the age of fifty, we can look fine cruisin’ the California coast in our electric vehicle on our way to the weekend Farmer’s Market. And, at any age, we can look incredibly wise while we dig the soil in our backyard garden to plant seeds with our children or grandchildren. Getting our green on has never been this trendy, and now more than ever needs to be even greener than our grandparents’ wildest dreams.
Meredith Ball is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a love of seeing families and nature heal and grow stronger together. She loves to laugh, write, inspire, and work to help keep the earth beautiful, one child and family at a time. She is the creator of the app Green Quest, and the Natural Living Editor at Bella Online. Follow her blog at Be The Green Queen. Buy Green Quest at the iTunes store!