Tag: Aging

Growing Old Together – You and What You Fear

..here he was on Broadway, his hair iron-gray, his stare wild, his walk unsteady, his hands flailing at the air. His clothes were out of the men’s shelter, and his face so ill-looking you wanted to put him in a hospital for a month before we even discussed the situation.

My mother looked curiously at me. “Why were you afraid of him?” she asked. “You could knock him over with one hand.”

“Ma, he didn’t look like that twelve years ago. Believe me. She continued to stare after him as he shambled down Broadway, bumping into people left and right.

“You’re growing old together,” she said to me. “You and what frightens you.”

Fierce Attachments
Vivian Gornick

Proust on Adolescence

But the salient feature of the absurd age I was at – an age which for all its alleged awkwardness, is prodigiously rich – is that reason is not its guide, and the most insignificant attributes of other people always appear to be consubstantial with their personality. One lives among monsters and gods, a stranger to peace of mind. There is scarcely a single one of our acts from that time which we would not prefer to abolish later on. But all we should lament is the loss of the spontaneity that urged them upon us. In later life, we see things with a more practical eye, one we share with the rest of society; but adolescence was the only time when we ever learned anything.

In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (In Search of Lost Time)
Marcel Proust

At what moment did you realize “Fuck I’m old”?

At what moment did you realize "Fuck I’m old"? from AskReddit

tamedreckless I’ll add mine since it was the reason I thought to ask this question…. Last week I sneezed and it threw my back out.

eDgAR– If it makes you feel better, I was 19 when that happened to me. I was so embarrassed I told eveyone I was helping my mom move something heavy when it happened.

ThisIsToMarkResearch They played Green Day and The Offspring on the “classic rock” radio station.

dangnabbitdamnit When I see popular reddit posts mentioning celebrities with weird ass names and I’m like, who the fuck are these people?

philman132 This isn’t just age, it’s also a product of the internet era. It used to be that everyone watched the same shows on the same few channels or listened to the same few radio stations, or whatever, so everyone knew the same celebrities. In this age where the monoculture has been shattered, everyone is watching different shows on Netflix, YouTube, etc, it’s so much easier to find niches, no one knows the same set of celebrities anymore.

Walshy231231 I’m 21 and in college, and I feel like there’s a new whack ass celebrity every day It’s just the internet I think

leafsblow When I mentioned Mr. T to my wife’s friend and she had no clue who I was talking about.

maxdarmawan Did you pity the fool?

RRuruurrr I was teaching a class last week and told my audience that they may need to MacGyver a solution if they come upon a certain problem. No one knew what that meant.

pcaltair I was born in 1999 and, while I’ve never actually watched it, I’m well aware of what that means.

Ienjoywearinghats I had to explain to someone how we used to organise meeting up before cell phones became a thing. That and having to use encyclopedias and other books to complete homework. I’m mid 30s. The reactions I was getting, It was like I was explaining how to split an atom using two sporks.

mlc15 I was literally just talking to my friend about that. Neither of us could wrap our heads around how you’d plan anything? If someone didn’t show up to your meet up did you just assume they couldn’t make it? How could you even call if there were a change of plans if you weren’t at home to use the phone?

Límites / Boundaries – Borges Poetry

Hay una línea de Verlaine que no volveré a recordar,
Hay una calle próxima que está vedada a mis pasos,
Hay un espejo que me ha visto por última vez,
Hay una puerta que he cerrado hasta el fin del mundo
Entre los libros de mi biblioteca (estoy viéndolos)
Hay alguno que ya nunca abriré,
Este verano cumpliré cincuenta años;
La muerte me desgasta, incesante.
—de Inscripciones (Montevideo, 1923), de Julio Platero Haedo

There is a line by Verlaine that I will not remember again.
There is a street nearby that is off limits to my feet.
There is a mirror that has seen me for the last time.
There is a door I have closed until the end of the world.
Among the books in my library (I’m looking at them now)
Are some I will never open.
This summer I will be fifty years old.
Death is using me up, relentlessly.
—from Inscriptions (Montevideo, 1923) by Julio Platero Haedo

Poems of the Night: A Dual-Language Edition with Parallel Text (Penguin Classics)
Jorge Luis Borges

Saul Bellow Interview on The Connection

Saul Bellow’s “Ravelstein”

“Saul Bellow is on every critic’s top ten list. John Updike has called him our best portraitist, he is a mentor to the British writer, Martin Amis, and his Chicago has become as familiar as Joyce’s Dublin. He has received three National Book Awards, the Pulitzer Prize and, in 1976, the Nobel Prize for Literature. You could read Bellow’s new novel “Ravelstein” for clues about his real life friendship with Allan Bloom, the controversial and flamboyant author of the 1992 bestseller, “The Closing of the American Mind.”

You could also read it as a Saul Bellow meditation on friendship, writing and dying. Abe Ravelstein is a larger than life philosopher at the University of Chicago, who chain smokes, lives extravagantly, and is as much of a gossip as he is an intellectual. Before Abe dies, he asks his friend, Chick, to write his biography. Saul Bellow’s “Ravelstein,” on this Connection.”

The Connection, Hosted by Christopher Lydon

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Thanks in Old Age – Walt Whitman

Thanks in old age – thanks ere I go,
For health, the midday sun, the impalpable air – for life, mere
For precious ever-lingering memories, (of you my mother dear
– you, father – you, brothers, sisters, friends,)
For all my days – not those of peace alone – the days of war the
For gentle words, caresses, gifts from foreign lands,
For shelter, wine and meat – for sweet appreciation,
(You distant, dim unknown – or young or old – countless, un-
specified, readers belov’d,
We never met, and ne’er shall meet – and yet our souls embrace,
long, close and long;)
For beings, groups, love, deeds, words, books – for colors, forms,
For all the brave strong men – devoted, hardy men – who’ve for-
ward sprung in freedom’s help, all years, all lands,
For braver, stronger, more devoted men – (a special laurel ere I
go, to life’s war’s chosen ones,
The cannoneers of song and thought – the great artillerists—the
foremost leaders, captains of the soul:)
As soldier from an ended war return’d – As traveler out of
myriads, to the long procession retrospective,
Thanks – joyful thanks! – a soldier’s, traveler’s thanks.

Over 40 and Happy – Suggestions

People who are 40+ and happy with their life, what is your advice to people in their 20s? from AskReddit

Relax more. Don’t get angry over little things.

I was a raging alcoholic in my twenties and thought I would never recover from it. I never found a real job using my first degree or my masters. Part of it was because I was always drunk, part of it was the job market at the time.

I went back to school in my thirties and found something I like a whole lot more. Now, I’m married, nearly ten years sober, and have a great job.

My point is, if you end up on the wrong path or don’t like where you are, there’s always time to turn around and change it. Too many people just assume they’re stuck where they are and stuck with the issues they have.

I’m not sure who said it but once I read this online:

“Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.”

And i think about it all the time. Kind of relates to what you said.

Wow. This helped me a whole lot with my anxiety. I’m a 20yo school dropout because of mental illness. I have big dreams though and the thought of never achieving them makes me even more sad. But your post helped me realize that it’s not too late to turn my life around. I can go back to school after I’ve been in therapy, I can still achieve my goals.

It is never never never too late! Go see a doctor- find some coping strategies- alter your life choices- don’t let anxiety rule your life. I have been diagnosed and once I figured out how to live with it, all sorts of things became more…. possible. I didn’t go back to school to finish my degree until I was 28- but the key thing to remember is it is NOT over for you, and you can get there. One thing at a time.

I am 40 years old and I have three pieces of advice for anyone in their 20’s

Accept that perfection doesn’t exist. Your relationships will have problems, your car will break down, someone else will anyways have a better phone, a newer car, or a bigger house than you, no matter where on the social ladder you stand. Constantly chasing perfection will keep you permanently stressed. That doesn’t mean you should not try to better your life, just know that if you expect perfection you will never be statisfied.

Pay attention to your diet and health. I have been working out at least 4 times per week since my mid 20’s. I am fitter, healthier and look younger than almost everyone else my age

Don’t stop doing the things you love. Even though I have a wife, kids, job etc. I still make time to play video games, draw, write stories, read comics, play basketball, listen to music, etc. There is no reason to become a miserable old bastard!

Girls who took notes using 50 different colored pens, where are you now? Do you still continue to write using all those colors?

Girls who took notes using 50 different colored pens, where are you now? Do you still continue to write using all those colors? from r/AskReddit

Unfortunately not allowed in the line of work i chose. So now i use 50 different colored Post-It notes. Improvise, adapt and overcome.

If I may ask, what line of work are you in that prohibits the choice to use different colored pens?

I work in an office, so it’s sort of a silly rule. However, it does look more professional, and blue/black ink is just better for scanning/printing purposes.

I used to work for a CPA/professional auditor who advised me to keep purple pens on hand for original signatures. She did.
She said you’ll always be able to tell at a glance if you’re really the one who signed it, since almost no-one will have a purple pen around to fudge your signature. and no-one will kick up a fuss since it’s basically a blue pen.

Unless my grandma decides to go on a fraud spree. Purple’s her favorite color and the ONLY color she ever writes with.. so beware

Quotes on Aging

Do not resent growing older, it is a privilege denied to many.

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”
 Robert Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra,

We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw

They called it “Classic Rock,” because they knew we’d be upset if they came right out and called it what it is, namely “middle-aged-person nostalgia music”.
Dave Barry

“a thing will not really live unless it first dies” – C.S. Lewis quote

“This is, I think, one little part of what Christ meant by saying that a thing will not really live unless it first dies. It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go—let it die away—go on through that period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow—and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life. It is because so few people understand this that you find many middle-aged men and women maundering about their lost youth, at the very age when new horizons ought to be appearing and new doors opening all round them. It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy.”

Lewis, C. S., Mere Christianity  


A Dartmouth economist has pegged what he claims is the most miserable age: 47.2 years old. A new study by David Blanchflower, collecting data about well-being and age from 132 countries, suggests that for people in developed nations, the “happiness curve” reaches its perigee at precisely 47.2 years. Those are the doldrums of middle age.

For someone like me who feels plenty of middle-aged misery but is not yet 47.2, this statistic is daunting! I’m not gonna see an upswing for another 2.14 years? I decided to talk to some actual 47.2-year-olds to find out what it is about 47.2-hood that’s so miserable, and how I can escape their horrible fate.

Dan Kois, Slate

“When you’re a kid, you don’t realize you’re also watching your mom and dad grow up.” – ShowerThought, reddit

When you’re a kid, you don’t realize you’re also watching your mom and dad grow up. from Showerthoughts

It’s a strange feeling, after growing up, realizing your parents were once just people figuring things out as they go, just like you are now.

It’s even more strange if you end up giving your parents advice. Realizing nobody really has anything figured out fully and we’re all just doing the best we can.

The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis – The Atlantic

My dissatisfaction was whiny and irrational, as I well knew, so I kept it to myself. When I thought about it—which I did, a lot—I rejected the term midlife crisis, because I was holding a steady course and never in fact experienced a crisis: more like a constant drizzle of disappointment. What annoyed me most of all, much more than the disappointment itself, was that I felt ungrateful, the last thing in the world I was entitled to be. Hopeful that rationality might prevail, I would count my blessings, quite literally—making lists mentally, and sometimes also on paper of all that I had to be thankful for. Reasoning with myself might help for a little while, but then the disappointment would return. As the weeks turned into months, and then into years, my image of myself began to change. I had always thought of myself as a basically happy person, but now I seemed to be someone who dwelt on discontents, real or imaginary. I supposed I would have to reconcile myself to being a malcontent.