Thursday, February 9, 2012

Growing Old, Like it or Not

A couple of years ago, our home alarm system went off accidentally. Our thirty nine year old neighbor across the street immediately rushed over to check on my husband, Joe and I to see if we were ok. She said, “I was worried, because I know your guys are “old“.“ I thought to myself, is she joking or really talking about us? Well, I’ve since forgiven her, but that day started me wondering, are we indeed getting “old”? So I checked on the internet to see if we were and I discovered old age begins at different ages for different people. Some, say 60, others 68, and some 75 or even 80. It just depends on when you want to think of yourself as old I concluded. 
It wasn’t many years ago that the popular saying was “never trust anyone over 30”. I just figured that the people who felt that way were kidding too and definitely didn’t know my Granddad DeLozier who would have set them straight about that fallacy.
So much has been said about old age and growing old for so long that I’m sure there isn't much I can add, plus I‘ve can’t remember it anyway. Thus my mini essay begins and ends with some of my favorite quotes regarding aging:
Oscar Wilde said: "When I was young, I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I’m old, I know it is.”  Actually I've discovered the most important thing in life is one's health and sanity.  No amount of money can replace either.
"Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the Hell happened." Anonymous
“Growing old is compulsory; growing up is optional.” Anonymous also.
William Somerset Maugham: “What makes old age hard to bear is not the failing of one's faculties, mental and physical, but the burden of one's memories.”

“People grow old only by deserting their ideals“, Douglas MacArthur wrote. “Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young. When your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old. And then, indeed as the ballad says, you just fade away.”
The quotes aside, the three primary problems I have with aging are:
1) not being able to get the hair on the right side of my head to grow and without an explanation. I do not like being lopsided but that is the way it is, so be it.
2) I do not like out living so many friends and family that I finally became accustom to.
3) Change, as soon as one gets use to something it is replaced by a new model, new word processor, new computer, new cafĂ©, new car, shoes, styles, TV shows, you name it. It just doesn’t pay to be too attached to anything. But the good thing is the bad stuff fades away just as fast and often that change is for the better, even when not looked forward to.
In conclusion my two favorite old age quotes are one by the crime writer, Joe Gores (1931-2011): “Old age means realizing you will never own all the dogs you wanted to.” The last is “the older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight because by then, your body and your fat are really good friends” author unknown.
My final words and advice on aging are it is those things that one does not do, that they often live to regret. So to live without regrets, leave no stone unturned.


  1. I remember the first time someone younger than I was talking about a woman and said she was, "you know, old," and when I asked "how old?" I was given an age younger than I was at the time. When they realized what they had said (about me), they were so embarrassed. I guess that's when I started thinking about middle age versus old age. I was probably in my 40s at the time!

    As long as I have good health and my mind is working, I'll be happy. :)

    1. Agree with you completely on health and mindfulness being necessary for happiness.
      Think I've had that experience that you spoke of back in the day.
      Happy Valentine's.
      Love your blog name! Reminds me of my favorite dog, Moonshine. Sure you've read Travels with Charlie by Steinbeck, a good one. Take care.

  2. Thanks for checking out my blog. I've been to Fairbanks Alaska about 20 years ago.

    Great post. At 45 I am starting to feel old. Things HURT for no reason, my skin isn't as elastic as it was, wrinkles, bags and more. Even getting my shoes on and off is noticably difficult. I remember my dad always having us kids remove his boots and socks. Now I know why. It's not easy when you get OLD.

    My favorite old age quote is "youth is wasted on the young". I don't know who said it but it's so true.

    1. And thank you! Look forward to viewing more of your posts. Happy Valentine's!