Age Old Question — “Age is just a number,” says the well-worn adage. But is it a number you care about, or one you tend (or try) to ignore?

Are you serious or just young? Because no one over 65 would posit a question like this without also laughing hysterically, possibly falling down and breaking a hip.

Photo: Debbie Stone

Photo: Debbie Stone

Age it isn’t a number, per se. But it’s a number which will tell you when you can stop pulling the plow and collect your pension. Otherwise, it’s more like an ache in your back, a bag full of medications, and more doctor appointments on the calendar than parties.

It’s being tired, but never sleeping soundly but getting to stay up as late as you want and sleeping in. Every day, if you choose.

It’s discovering you can’t do “that” — whatever that is — anymore. Your brain is fine, but your body persists in arguing about everything and worst of all, winning most of the battles. It’s finally having plenty of time, but being always short of money. Lots of time to travel, but not much motivation to tackle airports and long car trips. It’s also discovering the joys of being home. Of having a home.

It’s realizing you’re smarter, wiser, more experienced than the kids and grandkids, but they don’t want to know about it. So you get to watch them make exactly the same mistakes you made. If they are of a creative bent, you can watch them make a whole bunch of unique (and sometimes weird) mistakes you never imagined and which, if they weren’t so destructive (or it were some other kids about whom you didn’t care) you’d find hilarious.

And with an inevitability like day following night, after using their creativity to shoot themselves in both feet … they will ask to borrow money. (Note: Loans to children and grand-children are not loans. They are permanent grants-in-aid.) Or perhaps move into your guest room. Or leave their dog/cat/guinea pigs with you “just until they get their lives sorted out.”

Life does not prepare you for getting older. Nothing prepares you for getting older. No matter how smart you are, it always takes you by surprise.

The best part of oldness? Not caring what the younger ones think. And, if you are lucky, you get to say (or just think) “Ha! You’ll see! Your time will come.” If they are lucky.

Categories: Family, Health, Humor, Retirement

Tags: , , , ,

31 replies

  1. Great picture of you and Garry!


    • Thanks. It was a few years ago. I was thinner and my hair was whiter (it has darkened a bit since then). I have a friend who is a really super photographer and if we ask her very nicely, she will take some pictures of us. We need some newer ones, I think. Garry looks exactly the same, maybe a little grayer.


  2. Inspiring, Marilyn. Age is a number indeed, but we feel its mean paw digging its pitiless way through our bodies, some days more than others. Meanwhile we can enjoy the advantages of getting older. The one I like most in your post is the fact that people’s opinions matter less. I think we also grow more compassion for all kinds of people when we pass 40. Lovely photo also.


    • More compassion, but I find also less patience. Especially with whining and complaining. Not, mind you, that I don’t do my own share of whining and complaining, but at least I can also laugh at myself and realize how pointless it is. I hate to stereotype (but I will ) — the young take themselves WAY too seriously.


  3. Age does not matter, in some countries, they do not know how old they are 🙂


  4. So beautifully said, and so very true. I’ve watched my kids repeat my mistakes, and many of their own mistakes, and I’ve lent (ahem, given) them money when I was able to. Hopefully, they’ll then take care of me when I’m too old to do so myself. You’re right – there is no preparation for getting older, all you can do is face it with confidence and humor, the way you have.


  5. I’m quite looking forward to being a “grumpy old man”. I think I’m gonna enjoy it 🙂


  6. Bravo Marilyn! It is time to add 10- 20 years to your age just to impress people, how with it you are, for a 90 year old.
    At this stage in life it is “your call”.


  7. I am glad my No 2 son has no cats or dogs or gunea pig. He just phones on Saturday morning to book a bed at hotel mama if he has a party in our town. Arn’t those late night films great? We become experts in our silver years.


    • Garry’s always been a movie maven, but now I’m beginning to really get into it too. I totally enjoy staying up late, then getting up when I feel like it. Who started the rumor that old people go to bed early? They clearly don’t know any old people!

      We have 4 dogs, three of them previously belonging to someone else. They are very nice dogs, but one was really enough.


  8. Age is just a number? I HATE that cliche!



  1. It's Mayur Remember?
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