A Short Blog on Living Long


            I remember a decade ago, when I was 60. (Yes, I still remember that far back.) One of my adult sons and I were talking on the phone and he asked me when I first noticed getting older. I said, “I don’t know. When did you?” We laughed.

The process that gets you from “young” to “middle-aged” is a series of inch-by-inch changes. You can’t run or ski or stay up quite like you used to. It takes years and mostly there are no events, no moments that stand out to tell you “Yes, I am middle-aged.”

But yesterday, at the doctor’s office for my physical, there was a marker to let me know I had moved on again. It was during my physical. He was examining my legs and feet. “Your circulation is excellent,” he said. “You have the circulation of someone who is 50.”

So now it’s official. I’m old.

11 thoughts on “A Short Blog on Living Long

  1. My aunt told me she knew she was old when the Dr. began by saying: “For a woman of your age,. . .” then no matter how complimentary the next statement was, the reality of “oldness” could not be denied.
    and over the yearsI have found that to be very true.

  2. Thanks, Barbara
    Someone should do a collection of statements responding to the “I knew I was old when…” prompt.

  3. Not too long ago in the Ann Arbor news was a brief story concerning “an elderly woman” who had her purse stolen at the mall.
    She was 64.

    • Well, anyone younger than us is not elderly. Nice to see you here (and hear), Jim. Thanks for writing.

  4. Congratulations, you made it.

    You delivered a marker to me once that signaled my middle age. In a letter of introduction to the Michigan Quarterly Review you described me as “considerably past college”. I read that and realized I wasn’t fooling anyone anymore.

    You are much younger than many others your age.

    • Funny. I didn’t even think of that. You are much more talented and kinder than many others your age. I am incredibly indebted to you, and glad for our friendship.

    • Thank you so much Lizzy. I just finished the book and it was amazing!! Ca&;182#7nt wait till march. Just wanted to let you know I got my daughter and some co-workers hooked on your books.

  5. Well Lyn I’m right behind you in the age category and it all depends on the circumstance. For me realizing I was older, even getting old, has come in stages. There was the time about fifteen years ago when I was in a bar after a class at a hotel and I realized that of the fifty people in the room I was the oldest. Gulp. When men reach a certain age they become invisible on the street to women, who pass them by and never even see them, at all. I don’t feel very old when I go on a long tough hike but I move a lot slower than I used to, and I am careful. Last year on one of the trips on the ship I was the oldest aboard by six years and that was a shock, and even more of a shock to see I was probably healthier than two thirds of my crewmates all of whom were much younger. What is it they say, it’s a state of mind? Look at it this way, if you can think and plan and act and get around and enjoy life then you can be young, old, or even ancient, but that does not mean “old” in the common sense of decrepit, failing, and embarrassing.

    • I have got 1 idea for your site. It looks like at this time there are a few cascading steyhseelt problems while opening a selection of web pages in google chrome as well as firefox. It is working fine in internet explorer. Possibly you can double check this.

  6. My mother told me that she began to concede she may be getting older, when her pubic hair turned white.

    More recently, one of my aging urchins announced, to my mother (visiting) and i, seated side by side: “it is not really my habit to spend a lot of time talking with old women, so, i am going to go up to my room now.”

    I have been the bearer of bad tidings, to more than one post-youth person. At the same time, i am enjoying my 50s much more than i enjoyed any previous decade. I wish there was some way to telegraph that sort of information to the teens/twenties, in their (and our past) impatience.

    • I love the quip- Aging urchins indeed. I have 4 aging urchins (aka grandchildren) and they also have the “big phrase” way of introducing comments- “It is not really my habit”– “Actually, I have to believe that”
      It’s funny how being the bearing of bad tidings to others is not nearly as painful as being the recipient of them! And you enjoy those 50s while you’re in them- you youngster, you!

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