Monday, April 18, 2011

The Old and The Elderly – At What Age Do You FEEL Old?

What I am about to say will probably sound terrible, but I always wanted to ask my grandmother this question: "At what point in your life did you realize you were old?"

Like I said, I realize what a rude question that is, but seriously, I'd really like to know the answer. Though I was curious about what her response would have been, I never asked my grandmother that question, because by the time she was really old, it was obvious she was old, and I didn't want to hurt her feelings. It just seemed to be disrespectful to ask her, so I never did.

But as I near the end of my sixth decade, I find myself asking myself, "When will you feel old? When will you look in the mirror and say, 'Wow, wasn't I just twenty'?"

Gray hair (which I am now coloring again) doesn't make people old, because people sometimes go gray in their teens. Arthritis doesn't make people old, because even young people suffer from arthritis.

So what is it? What is the trigger that alerts us to the fact that we have now crossed the threshold from middle age into OLD age?

My mother is in her 70s. One of my best friends is in her 70s. Neither of these women is what I would consider to be old. And yet sometimes I see people in their 50s and my first thought is, wow, they look really old!

I don't know the answer. I seriously still don't know when people pass the invisible line from middle age into old age, but I would really like to know the point at which a person realizes he or she is old.

Maybe old age creeps up on you, then forcefully knocks the wind out of you and demands you to accept the fact that you are aging. Or maybe one day you give up your dreams and your hopes, because you know the end is coming, and you figure, why not? – I've earned the right to be old.

But what happens if you never give up your dreams or your hopes? Do you remain forever young? I can honestly say that I would not like to live forever, but I also hope that I never feel old.

And that completes Day #15 from the A-Z Challenge. Brought to you by the letter, O.

Previous A-Z Challenge blogs:

Amazon Hates Me – Day #1 from the A-Z Challenge

Bored – Why? – Day #2 from the A-Z Challenge

Craziness – Day #3 from the A-Z Challenge

When Your Daughter Develops, DON'T DO THIS! – Day #4 from the A-Z Challenge

Ellen – Day #5 from the A-Z Challenge

Family and Friends – Day #6 from the A-Z Challenge

The Grownup Table – Day #7 from the A-Z Challenge

Happiness & Joy – Day #8 from the A-Z Challenge

Idiots in the Attic – Day #9 from the A-Z Challenge

Jokes Accidentally – Day #10 from the A-Z Challenge

The Kid That Wasn't Named Ker – Day #11 from the A-Z Challenge

Living Out of Suitcases – Day #12 from the A-Z Challenge

Misunderstandings – I KNOW You Didn't Say What I THINK You Said

Networked Blogs on Facebook


  1. I think we feel older, but not old. Old is a word with negative connotations such as useless, worn out and worthless. Shoot, I know young people who fit that description!

  2. I have no clue. Outside I'm your mother's age but inside I'm still 16...but smarter. Stop by and see my picture on my N post for the A to Z Challenge.

  3. Good question! As a kid I remember thinking 40 was so old - now that I'm 40, it doesn't seem so old at all! :) I guess age is relative!

  4. This is a good question. I am from a long line of youngsters. My 75-year-old dad just climbed Mt. LeConte.

    I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

  5. I felt older at 30 than I do now, and I'll be 50 at the end of this year.

    My “O” post:

  6. Yeah, I'm almost 38 and have never felt older. I'm sure I'll have a new perspective when I'm 65 or so.

  7. 20 is old to a young child, 30 is old to a teenager, 40 to someone in their 20's. It's all relative and really depends on how you feel.

    I survived 40, even though 40 is really the beginning of middle age, but I managed to deal with it.

    50 was harder to deal with, but I told myself that 50 is still middle aged, and since I still felt in reasonable health, I learned to live with that too.

    55 was when it began to get harder, since I still see 60 as being OLD, and I really am not ready to be OLD! I am now 56 and my 57th birthday is only a few months away. I can't get over the fact that I am so close to being OLD!

    Hopefully by the time I reach 60 I will still feel reasonably young and be able to get my head around it.