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What is This Funny Thing Called “Old?”

By Pat Young January 26, 2023 Mindset

This funny thing called OLD.
Just who could solve its mystery?
Why should it make
A fool of me?

We use the word old to describe millions of people, things and events every day. Old friend, old pal, old man, old woman, old boy, old fool, old chap, old love, old tree, old book, old chair, old-fashioned, older than dirt!

Have you noticed how differently people approach this common three-letter word? It will describe everyone on the face of this earth sooner or later. There are no exceptions.

So, when do people begin to think of someone as old? Is it the number of years they’ve lived? Is it the way they walk, talk, look, act and think? Or do some of us take on being old by choice? And, is it reversible – this choice to be old?

Living Life Regardless of a Number

Somewhere in my past, I made a decision to exist as though there would never be a number that determined or defined the path of my chosen gypsy life. It has worked for me. It can work for you, regardless of your number.

If you are curious about my number, it is closing in on 88. Now, what is your first thought? Let me guess: she’s an old woman, an old hag, an old bag, the old bat!

She must have trouble getting around. She probably doesn’t have much longer to live. She ceased long ago being a motivator, a stimulator or an activator. She’s not even a participator. She no longer inspires or even desires. Her libido has gone absenteedo.

She sits alone with her TV and the company of a testy old tabby cat. Her diet is carefully planned. No scratchy, spicy dishes or seedy, citrus fruits that false teeth won’t tolerate. Strained baby food – that’s probably what she eats. But wait. Good news – she enjoys an occasional thimble of booze!

Challenging the Idea of Old

Why not investigate the truth about old? If we’ve got at least one marble left in our head, we know the “forever young” idea is a marketing myth brought to life by make-up moguls and Botox bandits.

Growing older is inevitable. It’s how we grow that keeps us young. You don’t need a geriatric workshop to master the necessary steps toward your new choice not to be old. You just need an appointment with yourself to engage the space between your ears for a me-to-me chat about how you plan to go forward.

I have a familiar phrase taped atop my computer monitor and prominently displayed on my refrigerator door:

“What are you waiting for?”

I like being jogged by this challenging quote. It speaks to me daily as a reminder that life, from the day we are born, is brief. What are we waiting for? Take some time today to ask yourself this question. Plant it between your ears and let it bloom. Let go of your number, make a plan and follow a dream. Look up and out. Get moving!

What are you waiting for?

Let’s Have a Conversation:

How have you seen people approach the concept of age? Do you agree that for some being old is a choice? How have you challenged stereotypes about this three-letter word? Please share in the comments.

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Lisa Stege

Great article, Pat; interesting last name, considering the subject matter (lol). My 75th birthday is this week, and I’ve never let the numbers define me in any way. I agree with you that it is most often a choice to let oneself be old; it is a mindset. Keys to staying young, to me, are to keep moving, and to stay interested in what’s happening in the world around us. I read, rather than watch TV.


My friend and I have called ourselves Bag since we were in our 30s, We’re now in our 70s.I think some laughter every day goes a long way in staying young 🤗


I get it. I appreciate your words. But my husband is tying me down. How do I get past this?


I felt I was being tied down yummy husband and then realized I was letting him tie me down. I’ve decided my life is valuable and is something to be honored and enjoyed.
Best to you.

Lana Muir

Wonderful article. I use the word “vintage” rather than the word old. I will be 72 next month and love being a vintage woman. Absolutely love it. I have been breaking stereotypes since I was young and I’m still at it. At present, I am on the hunt for a baton and a drum majorette costume as I fully intend on twirling my way down main street this year for our annual parade. I never really gave up twirling a baton, so I hope to dazzle the crowd with my talents. Age is a state of mind. My best friend is 94 and he is a dream come true. He is also my tennis partner. To have good health and a sound mind makes for a happier vintage lifestyle for sure.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lana Muir
shaggy maggie

You inspire,Lana!


How beautiful 😍 very inspiring. Twirl away and have the best time ever 💪💪💪🥀


Hooray for you Lana 👏👏

Janet Trenaman

Amazing to hear!! You rock Lana

The Author

Pat Young is a proud and happy octogenarian. She is a publisher, a published writer, a note card creator and a knitter, as well as a lover of life and the great state of Maine.

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