To thine own self, be true

Published 4:50 am Friday, August 11, 2017

My mother turned 85 last Saturday, and my father isn‘t far behind. That got me feeling old … again. What happens, what does it feel like, when you become one of the oldest generation … in your family, and then in general.

I suspect it could feel stiflingly lonely. But I do hope to find that transition not sad, but liberating. I suspect it can be very freeing, as our years are winding down, to realize you were right all along, and this life is supposed to be fun!

I believe people who have lived on this planet for many decades should be allowed to dance naked in the starlight, and to act only as “sanely” as they wish to in their remaining time.

My father seems joyous, like he stopped beating himself up over his perceived shortcomings, and is relaxed now. I suggest you all let that kind of stuff go, too. Let it float up to the sky like a balloon filled with helium. Or simply let the breeze take it from you, never to return. Don’t hang on to what doesn’t serve to put you at peace, and fill you with joy.

Danny is already among the oldest generation in his family, and four of his five siblings are gone. Who would have guessed that Danny would have been one of the longest lived? I would have, because I know how powerful love is and I know that I love, love, love him!

I propose that we let the elders of all our tribes pretty much do what they want, and that we stay alert in case we can learn something about how to create a serene and joyous life before it’s too late for us to put it into practice.

If you are an elder, (or even if you’re young) don’t worry about what anybody thinks about you, do what your spirit dictates, move to the rhythm of your spirit. Let it be free to dance.

Let your hair down. Howl to the full moon. Let your animal spirit guide your actions. Dance like nobody is watching. Move how your body wants to move. Sing out like nobody is listening. It doesn’t matter if you’re tone deaf, like I am. Sing out loud and strong! And indulge others who are singing and dancing, and generally acting free of worry about appearances. What do appearances matter? It’s what’s in your heart that matters.

I say be bold, and, in the words of one great bard, to thine own self be true!

Marcelle Hanemann is a reporter for The Daily News. You can email her at or call her at 985-732-2565, ext. 301.