The saying You’re Only Young Once gives youth license to enjoy themselves, implying that as you age, you will enjoy life less and less.
FUN is OVER for you forever!
I’m guessing that you don’t accept that idea.
* * *
Did you know Dr. Seuss published his book, You’re Only Old Once, on his 82nd birthday in 1986? I didn’t either, until I spotted his book of cartoons on a library shelf. For sure, he doesn’t depict aging as fun and games.
Scriptures abound with examples of those who lived longer because they had something to live for. Here are a few, in historical order:
- Noah began building the ark at age 500.
- Sarah had baby Isaac at age 90 (Please don’t gasp!
- Caleb, age 85, attacked the giants in the hill country, drove them out, and became a landowner.
Social Media: Folks here prove that as you age, you can be as vibrant as a teen on social media. Not a one, acting solo or in a duo, acts obsolete as Dr. Seuss’s cartoons may suggest. They are wizards on Facebook Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
The Beatles Get By With a Little Help from My Friends!
Young, or more mature, “How do you view the aging process?”
How do you get by (at whatever age you are)?
I’ve enjoyed reading Mary Pipher’s Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age. Any other titles to suggest?
🙂 My next post will appear on Wednesday, April 10.
Marian, I believe I should start a YouTube channel with some of my Mom’s quips. This week while I’m feeling all ancient–retire??!!–I needed this upper of a post. What fun you’ve collected here. Have a great week, granny memoir writer and much more!
I remember the awesome pics posted when you wrote about your mother’s antics. Go for it – YouTube is ready for your brand of family fun.I’m glad you enjoyed the post on this, your last week of formal work. Hats off to you, Melodie!
Good morning, Marian!
I remember when my current age seemed old.
We recently saw the August Wilson play, “Gem of the Ocean,” and the matriarch of the family, Aunt Ester, is 287 years old. 🙂
Enjoy your break!
Yes, right? All my teachers seemed ancient, but they were probably only in their thirties and forties – ha! Thanks for the good wishes for my break, Merril: editing proof pages is is not a vacation, but it’ll advance me toward my goal. 😀
Well, considering for the past year I thought I was 52 until I was reminded I’m 53, I guess I don’t give age much thought. Having had serious health issues in my 20’s and 30’s, I feel better now than I did back then. Enjoy your time off!
You are definitely aging backwards and the proof is in your book production. That “Love Inspired” series is expanding on your shelf – brava! My time off is really just a week off blogging so I can catch up with pushing my memoir along. Thanks, Jill.
I had hoped that was your plan, Marian. Can’t wait to read it!
I intend to spend my golden years doing the things I couldn’t do when I was younger and too busy studying, working, bringing up baby and just trying to get ahead in life. Travelling has always been my passion, as it is reading and enjoying Nature in all its glory, and buying our first motorhome 9 years ago has enabled me to do that. I am also starting to write short stories and I am looking for inspiration all around me.
I admire you and Peter for not putting off your dream until later. We are not guaranteed “later,” and it’s better not to tempt fate. A high five to you for finding inspiration for short stories all around you. Thanks, Fatima!
After Peter’s cancer diagnosis, that’s exactly what we thought and we seem to have inspired a few of our colleagues to take early retirement and enjoy life as it should be. 😉
I know a couple with a similar diagnosis who are also taking this lesson to heart. Thanks for the followup!
A lovely post, Marian age is but numbers and mine added together mean I am 13yrs old ….The heavens opened today while Lily and I were out walking we had great fun in the enormous puddles that the rain made…I mean that is what puddles are for isn’t it ???
I notice you say “the heavens opened” and not “we got drenched with rain.” Your upbeat attitude is always energizing to me. Yes – have fun in the puddles! Thanks, Carol.
My mum always used to say “the heavens opened” …We will, Marian more rain is predicted for today…yeah! xx
Love that – your mum was poetic too!
Good Morning, Marian, what a delightful post to wake up to! I think the older I get, the more I value the things that matter—family, friends and activities that nourish my soul not deplete me of energy. More selective with my choices. That frees me to enjoy the things that are important. We’re never too old to publish our memoirs! Right? Thanks for this reminder😊
I LOVE your unstoppable attitude. And you don’t obsess about pace either, cherishing the things that matter. You’re right: We’re never too old to publish our memoirs! And it’ll happen this year, Kathy!
This very day is my 70th birthday and this encourages me to choose fewer calories, more walking, and fun with family and friends.
Happy Birthday, Gigi! Wow, you’ve hit a huge milestone. And welcome to my blog as well.
You have noble goals, but maybe you can indulge in some cake on this special day. Here’s to “fewer calories, more walking, and fun with family and friends.” We can’t wish for more. Thanks for taking time to comment here, Gigi!
Happy Birthday. 70 is the best. Welcome to the club.
I have always loved the saying, “You don´t stop having fun because you get old, you get old because you stop having fun.” I´m still having fun and so are you!
You got that right, Darlene! We don’t intend to let a number curb our style.
As the year progresses, I can see you checking off items your 2019 list. (Yes, I remember your posting in January – ha!)
Not sure this comment will post. The wifi is dodgy in my cabin. (I am in a remote area in Pennsylvania.) I had a conversation with some women here about the topic of aging. One who is in her 70s said someone asked her why she bothered writing at her age. The rest of us asked, “What does age have to do with it??”
Yes, you POSTED, L. Marie, and I hope you can read the reply. It sounds as though you are with a group of women with strong opinions. I’m glad someone challenged the naysayer – in a good-natured way, of course.
Thanks for breaking away from your vacation to post here, so appreciated. Enjoy your day!
I loved your post! I think the older I get the more I avoid “work” and the more I invite fun into my life. But fun means simpler things now: capturing nature in a photo, eating an ice cream cone on a hot day, singing a song as I drive with the windows down, discussing a new film w/ my husband, studying a beautiful painting, laughing at a joke…meeting new people, having coffee with a longtime friend.
Your “fun” list has inspired me to be more intentional today when I take a break from writing. I know from reading your memoir that your early life was very structured. It must feel wonderful to let it all “hang out” at this stage! Thanks for stopping by today, Kas.
Great post as usual. I turn 79 this year and would be lost without being able to pen an article every now and then. And I agree with most of your readers, what’s age got to do with it.
I just skipped over to your blog and left a comment on this week’s post. Yes, “what’s age got to do with it?” This year you start climbing the ladder of the 80s. Great, Irwin.
And keep on “penning”!
I love this! We all need to celebrate each other for enjoying life at its fullest. I do not understand the phrase “act your age”. Why would I let my age control my actions. Joy, love, need, and knowledge are my controls. Just think of the wonderful experiences we would miss. I love aerial yoga and that definitely would not fit into acting my age.
I admire the contortions I see from aerial yoga on your Facebook page, Sue. Pilates is the extent of my pretzel poses. Ha!
Your action controls are wonderful: joy, love, need, and knowledge. I can aspire to them too. Thanks, Sue!
I’m loving aging for the most part. Especially being more at ease and less worried about most things. I’m at that stage when anything could happen at any time and I’m getting much more comfortable living with uncertainty. We’ve been living with it all along, so what’s the problem?
I’m also reading, Women Rowing North. Good read!!
People who like to get things done (you and me?) often have trouble with living with uncertainty, but as you pointed out “we’ve been living this way all along,” I’m glad that being comfortable with ambiguity is one of the perks of aging. Thanks, Joan. I’m glad you are in a happy place now! 🙂
Hi, Marian — fun post! I view the aging process as a gift. As I live out this challenging time of being a caregiver to a spouse whose mind is in dementia-induced decline, I am experiencing and watching transformational changes. Aging can, if we let the process work in and through us, bring wisdom.
Aging Book — I just finished “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” a novel about a married couple in their 60’s who work through some really difficult stuff in order to move forward in their lives, with renewed focus and energy.
I remember when you became aware of your husband’s diagnosis. It is heartening to hear that you are moving toward wisdom in this process. How well I remember walking alongside my aunt on her path of decline. After we made peace with it, I was able to help her through it. One anecdote has even made it into my memoir: My mother and aunt had exactly the same name. Once when we visited my aunt, she suggested that my mother trade places with her: She quipped: “We have the same name. No one will ever know the difference” – ha!
Thanks for the book title too. I just put this book on aging on hold at our library. Genre-wise, it’s listed as a novel but most likely it’s a guise for a life stage experienced or observed at close range.
It’s always good to hear from you, Tracy. Blessings!
Marian — What a fun post! At sixty-one, I’m enjoying the best time of my life — and that’s saying A LOT if you know anything about the first sixty years. Joie de Vivre!
i know a lot about the first sixty years, and truth be told, some of the 70s too. Joie do vivre going forward to the nth power! You’re with me, I’m sure! Thanks for this jolt of positivity, Laurie!
Lovely uplifting post Marian thank you! I don’t know what to say about aging – it reminds me death and taxes, a certainty, and if we have the opportunity to age and well in mind body and soul then that is a privilege not to be taken lightly.
‘To get back one’s youth one has merely to repeat one’s follies.’ Oscar Wilde –
I think you and I would choose not to repeat one’s follies. It takes too much energy to make things right after indulging – yes? We’ll just try to maintain our bodies and minds ~ and keep on writing of course. Cheers to you, Susan! 🙂
Your post reminded me of the W C Fields quote, “youth is wasted on the young.” I think it was Fields. I could be wrong… The memory … you know. :). Thanks for a delightful post. I’m pleased to say I never saw that Dr Seuss book. He certainly hit all the stereotypes though, didn’t he? I shall check out the new fb groups you listed. They look fun.
Quote Investigator says that the phrase has been attributed to both Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw, who came up with the variation: “Youth,” he replied, “is the most beautiful thing in this world—and what a pity that it has to be wasted on children!” I guess, take your pick: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/09/07/young/
I like especially the Droniak Instagram series, uncensored. Lillian Droniak definitely reminds me of my Aunt Cecilia, a serious wit! Thanks, Janet!
WC must have been quoting one of them I guess. 🙂
I am 75 and my husband is 81. We have had an adventurous life, unsettled at an early age as our families fled hostile regimes, settling and resettling many times, making our house a home and a welcome place for all, wherever we ended up. Life has been good, and we look back with no regrets. We mourn the child we lost, but we are thankful for the three wonderful daughters and sons-in-law God gave us and we enjoy our eight beautiful grandchildren. Looking back is as much fun as looking ahead. Mostly it’s best to just live for the moment and I wish we had learned that lesson earlier on!
Wise counsel here, Elfrieda. Except for fleeing hostile regimes and moving many times (Huge, by the way), we have experienced God’s grace as well. Yet we are still learning the lessons of trust. Thank you! 🙂
All I know is im not digesting the number change for my next birthday lol. We have to live life every day and not take them for granted. Take a breather Marian, you’e allowed. I know well the crazy part you’re at with your book 🙂
Don’t worry, Debby. You’re ageless!
Right now I’m amazed with all my author friends who have pulled this stunt, publishing a book, multiple times – you with six books out in the world and more to come.
Yes, it’s a little crazy now, but I see a path to the end. But then comes marketing. Yes, I’ll take a breather … soon. Thanks for the free advice too! 😀
You’ve got this girl! 🙂
Keep moving . . . it’s all fun if you keep moving . . .
I couldn’t agree more. Although I couldn’t find it on Google, I believe Queen Mary once said, “When you stop, you’re done!” 🙂
Great post! If my memory serves me correctly, studies actually show that people are the most content when they are in their 60s.
Hip-hip hooray for the 60s – and beyond. Thanks for commenting here today: more power to you for inspiring wellness in your blog! 🙂
Interesting post! Since I’m now in my 80’s I can truly relate. Friends say I don’t look or act 80. But what do they know? They’ve never been 80! Both Jerry and I have noticed some symptoms of old age! Help! But I’m not giving in yet!!!
I’m not yet 80. Still I understand some of the symptoms, including less energy. But neither of us is giving in yet. No, siree! Thanks for the boost here, Anita!
It’s amazing how we can stay younger and younger! Hurray.
Your camera gives you a unique perspective, Lady Fi. Yay for photography!
You’re only as old as you feel, right? These Instagrammers are an inspiration! I think if we are all honest, that nobody likes to age. Yes, there are advantages to collecting experiences and the continued gathering of wisdom, but the physical aging is no fun.
That being said, we can all age gracefully by eating healthy, keep exercising somehow (mentally and physically) and by learning from our mistakes. And, most importantly, by living our lives to the fullest. And that certainly is something I’ve always done and I’ll never regret. 🙂
I’ve looked up Kevin and his Grandma Lill and got a kick out of her 30-40 second quips. She’s just being herself. I do want to look up the Fashionista, Helen van Winkle on Instagram. She’s quite a trip.
You guys are living life to the fullest, ticking all the boxes for good health and happiness, at least most days. No, you won’t regret you minimalist approach to life. Having lots of stuff does not spark joy. 🙂
Smiling is a very important thing to do as you get older , it’s a natural facelift.
If I’m having a wobberly because I feel my age Colin always says smile 😊😃 a nd suddenly the wrinkles disappear.
Why don’t you write a book (booklet?) of your wise and clever sayings? They never fail to cheer me up. You have the gift! Colin is very smart too, alert to your moods.
Your comment made me smile, so I assume my face lifted . . . a little! ((( ))) 😀
I love the medical testing equipment in the images you shared. I laughed at the result, “So-So.” The Beatles got it right. We need a little help–and a big dose of grace.
My thoughts about aging changed when my unusually fit, meditating, life-loving, vegetarian husband got a rare cancer no one could diagnose. They finally diagnosed, but couldn’t do more than hold it back a few years. So I learned how much we have to fight for vitality and how, in the end, we are not in charge. No surprise.
In my 60s, I was strong from strength training and aerobics plus life-time spiritual practice. And then Meniere’s Disease hit in 2013 when I was 68. I was pulled down before I was ready to submit and my book was about to come out. I carried on, focusing more on writing and solitude than anything else. I didn’t get help from every alternative or medical approach I tried until I had cochlear implant surgery, so I submitted and tried to find ways to be with others. Hard to imagine in less than two weeks since receiving cochlear implant sound, I hear most of what people say (without reading lips), do yoga, lift weights (carefully), and take long brisk walks again. Mostly I have hope after years of feeling discouraged by the isolation of deafness. We never know if we’re at the end of a journey or at the beginning of another.
(I struggle with the use of the word “myth” to mean something that isn’t true. Yes, it’s common usage, but it’s too bad, because stories from many ancient traditions hold so much wisdom, even if they aren’t from our religion. Noah at 500 years is mythological–not a falsehood, but a mythological statement. Those ancient stories teach us so much and we respond to them. I think of Dr. Seuss as a modern mythologist, along with Joseph Campbell and many, many others who find universal truths in “myths” and fairytales.)
I am thrilled to read that you are on the other side of cochlear implant surgery and happily emerging from isolation. Yoga, gentle weight-lifting, and brisk walking all sound like you are back in the game again. Yes, control is an illusion, and sometimes we don’t get the result we had hoped for, but sometimes we do. Yay!
Yes, I understand the various connotations of the word “myth.” Probably “aphorism” or “maxim” would have worked better in the title, but myth sounded right to my writerly ear. :-/
I continue to be inspired by your indomitable spirit: “I was pulled down before I was ready to submit and my book was about to come out.” Publishing a book is a dizzying experience even without Meniere’s Disease; still you did it. I will too, of course, with weary eyes, blurring eyesight. Walks help relieve that. And encouragement in this space does too. Thanks again for all of this, Elaine!
Yes to joie de vivre after 60 and jubilación until the end! So busy living I haven’t had time to read this past week, but you know I love this!
You and Stuart are “drinking life to the lees,” as God (and Tennyson) intended. Jubilacion to you this week ~ and beyond!
I’m so glad I finally got here, Marian (a bit of traveling in the past couple of weeks). You hit a wonderful spot here for me, and for many of your readers. Remember the Beatles song “When I’m 64”? Gad, when the song was released I thought that 64 was ancient. A few years ago when my guy hit that number, friends gave him a big stuffed teddy bear that sang that song, mouth opening and closing to the words (it was a bit freaky). I have learned that aging is more plus than minus. I would NOT want to be young twice Once was plenty, thank you very much. At this age past the 60 mark, I find I have more self-confidence, self-love, and joy for others and for life, then I did when I was younger. Yes, things on my body squeak and moan at times, but who cares when we’re having so much fun? <3
Oh, you brought back a memory: When she turned 64, I sent this song to one of my colleagues. And recently, I put the link to “76 Trombones” on Facebook for my hubby, who doesn’t look a day past 64 – ha!
I can chime in with your conclusion: “I find I have more self-confidence, self-love, and joy for others and for life, then I did when I was younger.” Like you, I wouldn’t want to turn back the clock. Thanks, Pam! 🙂