Rage against beige

You know that poem about raging against the dying of the light?

In mid-life, I think we need to rage against beige. I can feel the conservatism creeping in. The sensible decisions andĀ the early nights; the flossing and the broccoli.

Mid-life is full of dull. Superannuation, health insurance, buying a practical life cover premium, servicing the car. The mailbox is full of envelopes with windows. We can either succumb and stare straight ahead on the treadmill or we can draw a big anarchy sign on ourĀ hearts.

So what does colourful look like? Open-minded, open-hearted and willing to take risks. It doesn’t mean you have to get around in Vivienne Westwood, dye your hair pink or ride a unicycle (but you can if you want). It means being open instead of closed, yes instead of no, positive instead of negative. It’s about remembering that you have options. It’s about taking action.

What can you do to un-beige your life? For me, I have started a new career as a magazine editor (yikes) and moved back to Sydney to have another go at keeping calm while trucks fly past.

What are you going to do?

4 comments on “Rage against beige

  1. I hadn’t read that poem before – thanks for that, it’s a really good way of looking at it.

    I certainly don’t want to go quietly! I’ve certainly seen it in older people I know – family and friends. Some sit back and let the world overtake them, others skip happily through life and embrace change when they find it.

    For me it’s a change in the opposite direction to you. From city to country. From a desk job in IT to working 8 hours a day standing, making wine. The pay is crap but I feel amazing. It’s taken some time to get to where I am now, but it certainly isn’t dull!!

    So although in some ways my life is quieter now – living in the country with less money means less available ‘stuff’ to do – my life has been full of more change than just about anyone else I know and change is easy.

    I’ve had a few people tell me that what I am doing is their dream, and my answer is always “Well what are you waiting for, go do it!”

  2. Great post, Emma.

    What am I going to do? Hmm… go out more (live music, galleries). Embrace the freedom that I get from working for myself, and sneak little bursts of pleasure here and there, whether it’s op-shopping, taking the dogs to the beach, or frolicking in the meadows. NOT vote Liberal or Labor.

    But I am gonna floss – in order to prevent that ultimate hallmark of beige: dentures.

  3. Thanks Em, great post. Like Natureboy, I hadn’t read that poem before. Wow. Powerful and life-changing words. I can vouch for leaping before looking, having left all my worldly things in a storage unit in Sydney to wander who knows where, first stop Ubud in Bali, which I’m enjoying more than I thought I would – possibly because of something WB Yeats said about happiness (in fact I just put his quote on my blog):

    Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure, this thing or that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.”

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