Sunday, June 22, 2008

Redefining OLD

I have just come to realize the extent to which we continue to redefine the word OLD as we creep up in age. Oddly enough, for me it seems to be about 15-20 years older than I currently am, and it’s been that way since I was a young child.

The majority of people I know well have crossed the half-century mark, and many are hovering around 60. Just this week we celebrated the birthday of our long-time friend Michael as he turned 60. I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Hawk Mountain in Pennsylvania for a surprise 60th birthday party for my friend and musical partner Deborah in one of her favorite places in the whole world. I turned this little bird into a home-made card for her.

I still have 6 months before I cross into that new decade, but it is coming. Some days my body feels OLD, but I counter that with young thoughts, hoping my mind can win out.

I had an interesting conversation with my daughter this week in which she bolstered my aging ego. When I mentioned getting older, she told me that many of the patients in her psychology-related job are my age but seem to be in much worse shape than I am. I took that as a compliment.

So as I practice to blow out 60 candles, I plan to just keep moving – walking Jake, doing yoga, riding my bike with its clipless pedals (I’m going to do it this week, I promise!), and just not sitting still long enough to atrophy.

I would love to think that by the time I turn 80, OLD will be defined as 95 in my mind!


Blogger lacochran said...

George Carlin had a bit... everyone that drives faster than you is a maniac but everyone who drives slower than you is an idiot. I guess everyone that's 20 years older is ancient and anyone that's 20 years younger is a youngster! :)

4:48 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

LaCochran -- Works for me. Yes, 39 is indeed a youngster! I do love George Carlin-isms...

6:03 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Aging is humbling. I say that all the time. For me the humbling bits are what bring wisdom. America needs wise old people, even though our culture disdains everything about aging. There's no other way to get wise! Sheesh.

Anyway I will drink a big toast to you on your upcoming rite of passage. I salute you!!

6:14 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- Maybe OLD will become more popular as the baby-boomer bulge all move in that direction. We are definitely a force to be reckoned with!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

The lines definitely blur for me. So many of my friends are not of my generation. It's hard to think of them as old; though, I'm feeling older and older the less my body does what it should or what I want.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

My mom and I have had discussions about this before. How the definition of "Old" changes as you approach that age. But how wonderful really that it keeps shifting. Otherwise we would feel 'old' and with that usually comes negative images. Better to stay on the sunny side of age issues and remain positive, vital and alert.

5:21 PM  

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