I looked in the mirror and what did I see,
but a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair,
and I asked my reflection,
How did you get there?”
You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak,
when I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique.
My reflection’s eyes twinkled as she solemnly replied,
you’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
A living gem and precious, of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth.
The years that spoil your gift-wrap with other things more cruel,
should purify and strengthen, and polish up that jewel.
So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then, when your gift-wrap’s stripped away your jewel will be set free,
to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity.
I like getting older. The increasing aches, pains, memory failures—sure, I could do without those. But as for the actual adventure of aging, in and of itself? It’s a good one. Skeptical? Ask anyone who might not have the chance. … Continue reading →
I write. A lot. I carry a 4x 6 memo book with me all the time to write anything and everything that I think, maybe read, grocery list, things to do, names and phone numbers, appointments, etc. What I write … Continue reading →
Notice how distinct older dog’s faces are compared to more youthful ones. All the telltale signs: lumps and bumps, gray hair, chipped and missing teeth. Some had loss their eyesight, some were missing their eyes altogether – evidence of both … Continue reading →
“THE DANCE We never rehearsed this We are a mess We tremble and perspire We step on each other’s toes Sometimes we go out of tune And forget our lines But at least this is real At least we are … Continue reading →
… my generation, born between 1946 and 1964, has physical concerns: Friends are dying, joints are aching, and memories are failing. There are financial issues, with forced retirement and unemployment, children needing money and possibly a bed, and dependent parents. But for many of us, it is a psychological quandary that is causing the most unpleasantness: looking around and suddenly being the oldest.
Every generation gets old, but for those who were told we’d be forever young, it just seems more painful. “It’s a huge issue,” says Dr. Anna Fels, a psychiatrist in New York. “I see so many who are trying to adjust their lives to this new phase, which for some reason none of us really pictured ourselves going through.”
Why didn’t we? We knew that eventually more people around us would be younger rather than older. But it still rankles. The image of a room filled with younger people is the perfect symbol.
Michele Willens is a journalist who writes for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post and The Atlantic. A version of this news analysis appears in print on August 31, 2014, on page SR9 of the New York edition with the headline: “When did we get so old?”