I just turned 60. I’m old! A senior! Venerable! Entitled to respect! (And a few discounts.)
I’m perfectly happy to be Old. My mother died far too young at 57. It breaks my heart to think of everything she missed by not reaching old age.
And yet when I call myself Old, I meet with resistance from fellow seniors, including one colleague at the library where I work who, although five years older than I am, always insists “I’m middle-aged!“
Am I middle-aged? Don’t be ridiculous. It’s unlikely that I’ll live to be 120.
Curious, I asked my Facebook friends: “Do you think of yourself as old?”
The comments flooded in:
I’m 64, but I don’t consider myself old. My mother is 90. SHE’S old.
I’m 71, but I don’t feel as old as I did when I was 60. Go figure.
I don’t think about my age at all. Just happy to be here. Although sometimes I’m shocked when I look in the mirror.
I am 65 and happy to be Old! I’ve known far too many who didn’t live long enough to enjoy this experience.
I am 63 and I’m with you. We’re Old. Not “late middle-aged” or “the wrong side of forty” or any of the other idiotic terms we seniors use to avoid facing the truth.
Even the young feel old sometimes
I am 35. I have recently started feeling old. Somehow, I was 25, then I blinked and I was 35. Oh my God.
Some people equate “old” with “retired” – or at least, no longer active
You’re not old if you’re still working
You’re not old if you’re still active
I’m 68 but I don’t feel Old. Maybe I will when I retire?
I’m 68, work full time as a college professor, just cut a new CD, write, love to landscape my yard, have embarked on a new career of antiquing, go to the gym nearly every day and am hiking in Arizona for the winter. A friend asked not long ago if I think I’m going to live forever.
Old means spending your time doing nothing and complaining about your aches and pains – both of which I excel at! But I limit the time I allow myself to wallow… because I don’t want to be Old.
So many seniors just don’t like the O word and prefer a different term:
Old? It’s a horrible word. Old is worn out, negative, derogatory. You are none of those things and nor am I.
I’m a 62-year-old retired physician. I resist being labeled Old – maybe because I don’t want to be considered an “irrelevant old codger.”
I am 71 and have left middle-age. Senior? Bleh! Old? Not yet. For the moment, I’m “free-floating.”
I don’t think of it as old. I think of it as “having some mileage.”
I’m Jewish. I prefer the term “AltaCocker.”
Elaine Stritch said you are never old. You’re just Older. That works for me.
At 70, I’m no longer middle-aged. But I don’t yet identify as Old. There ought to be a term for that. “Almost Oldster?” “Codger-in-training?”
Are you really only as old as you feel – or look?
I am 60. I work 12-hour shifts. On my days off, I climb mountains and then ski down them. Do I feel old? No!
I’m 60 but I don’t consider myself old. Even when my body feels old, in my heart, I’m still 35.
Old is always at least ten years older than you are. My body is the age it is, but me? I am not old.
I’m 65 and lead an active life. But I have to admit that I hate the way my arms look in short sleeves and the pain in my arthritic knees and hands.
I’m a young 68 and don’t think of myself as a senior. But my legs? They definitely feel (and behave) like an elderly person’s legs.
When I turned 60 I ditched my 49-year-old boyfriend, who was always coming up with new health-related excuses for not being intimate. I’m happy to have left the 50s (and him!) behind. Not feeling old at all.
Or is it the company you keep?
I’m 64 and about to attend my first “I’m Getting Medicare” party, thrown by a retired guidance counselor who became an air hostess at 62, because she’d always wanted to be one. I try to surround myself with people who are open to adventure and learning. To me, Old signifies somebody who has given up thinking of new things she can do and challenges she can meet.
I am 64. Yeah, I am OLD!!! And I practice Yoga with young people three times a week. Start practicing yoga. Start NOW!
My favorite response?
I’m 60 and call myself old when there’s a discount to be had. Otherwise, I’m a babe.
Are you old?
Roz Warren writes for the New York Times, the Huffington Post and many other publications. She recently appeared on the “Today Show.” You can read more of her work at www.rosalindwarren.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @WriterRozWarren.