Musings on Aging


I find aging, or the topic thereof, interesting.

When I was in my early 20’s I couldn’t wait to grow a little older. Being young can be tough, especially in an office workplace setting. I was at the bottom of the totem pole, and I knew it. I typed invoices on a manual typewriter and I was the one that became the favorite filing clerk. I had a lot of proving to do! I tend to remember how I felt (40 years ago), and younger folks probably want to roll their eyes at me when I tell them I know how tough it can be to be young. I am old, what do I know?

When I turned 25 I was surprised when I realized there were no more age markers to look forward to. 13, 21, and for whatever reason, 25 had arrived and I had looked forward to it. No single age has mattered to me since.

I recently asked a woman about her upcoming birthday, and I made positive comments about our age frame. She did not respond and her facial expression was very controlled, stoic. I started to gently ask, “Did you hear me?”, and then I realized that she had. Oops. That moment was a first for me, and a preventable last.

See, I do not find age embarrassing.

When I was a young child I enjoyed touching my grandmother’s soft hands. I loved to kiss her on her cheek. Somehow, that sagging skin (which was beautiful to me), was precious. She was my elder and I appreciated it so very much. Her eyes and skin reflected wisdom. He gray hair was a crown.

Two things do typically catch my attention, though. The first is any statement along the lines of, “An elderly 60-year-old woman was pushing the grocery cart.” What? Elderly? Or, when I converse with someone 20-30 years old and they say, “My grandmother does the same thing.” I then do the math in my head. Yes, they could very well be a grandchild of mine. A young woman relaxing in our community hot tub said to my husband, “Oh, I know, my parents are old too.” Yep. Ancient. Good for a belly laugh.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Oh, and one more thing, the older I get, people that are my age don’t look so old to me anymore. When did older people stop looking old?

How do you feel about age? Is it a number, or do the oncoming years scare you? Do you hide your “real” age from others?



7 thoughts on “Musings on Aging

  1. candlemoments says:

    Age is the greatest irony of life. By the time we appreciate age and understand its value, we can regret our youthful ignorance. I don’t consider myself old, I’m 32, but I have to say, though I feared aging when I was younger, the best feeling was hitting 30. All of sudden I felt like I had valuable time and experience, that I was, in a way, a real person now. The years don’t really matter to me anymore, but I may feel differently as I hit each decade’s benchmarks, but instead of aging, I look to each decade as a reminder to live life. I can sincerely say that I feel good about how much I have accomplished at my current age, and the desire to feel this way at 40 drives me forward. I love your post about aging, and I’m so glad you brought it up. Something about our culture seems to equate aging with inability, but it is the furthest thing from the truth. Aging means you survived, aging means you have wisdom, aging means you no longer need to shelf negativity. Kudos, Mary – you always write with such sagacity.

    • Mary Humphrey says:

      Thank you so very much!

      P.S. 40 was a great age. I told my co-workers, “I am an adult now.” One replied, “I hate to tell you but you’ve been an adult for a few years.”

      Might as well enjoy it all, right?

  2. dulseandrugosa says:

    I have mixed feelings- so happy to here on Earth but I also need to carry reading glasses in my purse.

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