When does that time of oldness step in?

If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart.
The spirit should never grow old.
–James A. Garfield

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
— Mark Twain

Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.
— Jim Fiebig

When does that time come to you.  Are you one of those that, when you are sixty, you will call yourself old?  If you do, I wonder why, although I have known a number of people who,  at a tad younger age than me,  say they are old at sixty.  I also have a mid-fifty year old, very close friend, who says she is already old and has been that way for a number of years.

I wonder why and how that time of oldness has stepped in for them, but didn’t happen to me.  When the people in my own family were sixty, they may have had medical difficulties, but it was never a gauge for their age.   Even though they had a major ache or two they kept going because they knew if they acted old,  old age would creep in and wrap up in their bedroom slippers and wait for them to slip them on.  Then in a short time you become old.

Sometimes, or maybe most of the time this “old” phenomenon creeps in because there is little life left  in the heart,  not much stamina  in the stride and  little curiosity in the mind.  I can’t imagine not having any of those qualities.   Presently, I may be on a little detour, but even during this hiatus of grief and during the years of my care giving, I still knew the importance of protecting the “feel good” attributes of the human psyche and body.  I always want to know what is current and I always knew the quest for life was still alive in my heart….To this day I sing, smile, laugh and cry each day.  I respond to life as it changes minute by minute and I need to give credit to my Mother for making sure I  always had a positive attitude, nevertheless, during my years to get where I am  now I  lost track of the joy of tomorrow and the need for hope, but thankfully I am beginning to see the joy of anticipating tomorrow and the buds of hope are beginning to return.

Instead of feeling old, I often have the opposite problem.   I forget I am aging because I still have my youthful, even childish thoughts inside.   A few days ago I found out an acquaintance had a passion for roller coasters.  Oh, it brought back memories of my fervent entreaty to ride every roller coaster in the  world and then facing the fact that most of the fun of roller coasting is to go with someone,   I never had anyone who was willing to share in my delightful quest and so whenever I was near one I went on alone.  Even today, if someone was willing to take a ride with me,  at sixty-plus years,  I would act like a child getting into the seat first and scream my head off as we reached each turn and dip.  Oh what a wonderful feeling in your tummy!!

Since I am always curious about everything I posed a question in a group I belong to on Eons, the baby boomer cyber site I have written about.  All the responses were emphatic that “Oldness” is a state of mind; although the response from the manager of the group ,  was the best of all:

“I am not OLD! I am more mature in my thinking and behavior.  I have a lot of knowledge and wisdom. I am at the perfect age not to give a damn what others think of me.  I am beautiful, special, sensual, intelligent, sweet, loving and giving, wise beyond my earlier years, but I am not ‘old’!   And for those who feel they are  old at sixty, then get ready to stand at the orifice of the grave;  please go right ahead.  I give YOU my blessing. Old is when you give up on life and living it without gusto. I am not old. Old is when you forget what it feels like to love and be loved. I am not old. Old is a state of mind. If your mind is old then so is your body and believe me you will bear the ravages of time on your body if you think you are old. I AM NOT OLD!”
photo of ladywrite2

If you are near the age that we speak of, please think about what you are saying, if you consider yourself old.  Probably there are many years left in your life to live.  Read the quote once more from ladywrite2 and if you really feel you are old then have you also have given up the goodness of life that she refers to—-I hope not!!


4 thoughts on “When does that time of oldness step in?

  1. Frank,
    What a wonderful post. I think there are “old souls”. I have met those who were “old”even when they were children…

    I didn’t understand the concept of old because my parents were always doing the things that they always did. Even at 72, I didn’t consider my mother old. She was sick and she had cancer, but she never was old to my way of thinking.

    I think that society wants to label everything. I remember in our generation, we said to never trust anyone over 30. Today, I think that society doesn’t want to consider that they to will be over 30 and many are sowing seeds of a harvest that they will reap.

    I don’t think anyone is any different as they grow more mature. Yes, we have lived long enough to gain more wisdom and yes, we have seen cycles in life come and go, but we are never different as the years pile on. The best thing that I believe has come with my middle 50’s is that I don’t have to prove myself to anyone. Heaven help the one who thinks that I do…I am old enough to tell them to put it where the sun doesn’t shine…and I don’t feel a moments regret if I do.

    I am more like you. I intellectually know that I have more years behind me than before me, but I want to live my life as much now as I did when I was a teenager.

    I have things that I want to know about and places to see. I am a grandmother, but I run and jump and play with them just as I did with my cousins…In fact, it is more fun to be around them than it is around adults.

    Maybe, that is why I love to work with kids and think of myself as a pediatric nurse.

    Thanks for this post. I love it…


    1. It is by far a very strange attitude to have. I used to think “when am I going to grow up” and then I would watch my Mother having the time of her life at 75-80-82 and I thought, hey wait a minute, Momma is all grown and yet she enjoys fun like a child and prompts other people to feel free to be with her. Some just couldn’t while others had the time of their life. She never suffered by it, everyone loved her, and so I stopped wondering and saw my “when am I going to grow up” worry go away real fast. I tell you what you romp with the grandkids in the yard and then they can go on the roller coaster with me–Okay?
      Thanks shadowlands,


  2. Frank,
    Froget the grandsons, I’ll go ride…they are afraid of rides…I ridden everything from the rides at the state fair to all of them at King’s Island and I would go tomorrow if we could..We would have a blast!


    1. Oh my god, we should have been siblings!!! Are you really that part of me that has always been there and now we know each other? I will race you to that ride and we will scream and holler just like we were kids. I now can think of anything but a roller coaster!!


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