You’re Asking the Wrong Question

Jan - Purple 2

I’m sorry. Let me say this in the kindest possible way. Asking me what I will do to stay ‘young at heart’ as I get older is ageist.

Why would anyone assume that it is better to be young at heart than old at heart unless being old at heart implied a lot of unpleasant, undesirable things. Of course, that wasn’t the intention. Assuming that young is better is a deep cultural belief, one that is, unfortunately, absorbed by many people as they age, making them mourn their younger selves rather than enjoying the age they are.

I was already young at heart when I was young. Then I was middle-aged at heart and now, I think, I’m probably old at heart. And I’m here to tell you, all of you 40-somethings filled with dread about the future, it’s more interesting over here on the other side than you might think. Sure, there’s the reality of aging physical systems like hips and brains but also the extraordinarily interesting challenge of making an aging body work and work well. It’s a beautiful thing to walk five miles or swim lap after lap when you’re 65 because there’s all that rejoicing and gratitude that goes along with the exercise. Nothing can be taken for granted.

Lest anyone thinks this acceptance came easy, let me say that it has been a struggle. I, too, absorbed the cultural norms about aging, regarding wrinkles as flaws and physical infirmities as evidence of irrelevance. Until I had them. I know me and I know I’m not irrelevant. I am calmer, less competitive, more strategic, and, oddly, more competent in many areas than I was when I was at my supposed professional peak.

Rejection of the ageist cultural norm means that I can see old people as beautiful. I look at the faces of Robert Redford and Tommy Lee Jones and I think, my, they have aged so handsomely, the smoothness gone from their faces, every day in the sun or late night in a bar travelling in the crevices of their foreheads and cheeks, experience and richness to envy, every young man should be so lucky.

I used to think that I was a 19-year old trapped in a 60-something’s body, that my wrinkles and physical changes were old mothy clothes draped on my remembered lovely young self; that was my way of railing against the injustice of aging. Now I realize that aging isn’t an injustice as much as it is an undeserved reward. Not everyone gets here. We, all of us who looked battered and weathered, are more beautiful than we know.

So when you ask me what I will do to stay young at heart, I will tell you what I will do to be happy, where I want to travel, what work I want to do, and, last, how I want to be remembered. Those are questions everyone should contemplate, young, old and in-between.

Written in response to this prompt from The Daily Post: What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?


154 Comments on “You’re Asking the Wrong Question

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  4. Hear hear! Well-reasoned and well-put! I used to think I’d never lose track of modern culture and act “old” but now that I’m there I realize the reason people do this is because it is actually more interesting to live according to your own interests–to simplify and stop following the crowd. I enjoyed your essay… Judy

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  7. Asking the right questions is the hallmark of a good philosopher . . . that’s why a philosopher is a member of the Norwegian government.

    You are asking the right questions, too, in my opinion. Thanks for your thoughts on ageism. A very pertinent post. I’ve re-blogged it; many of my followers will enjoy it, too. ~ Linne

  8. Reblogged this on A Random Harvest and commented:
    Thanks to Social Bridge and A Silver Voice from Ireland (both are from Ireland) for pointing me to this interesting, insightful writer. Enjoy! ~ Linne

  9. In the two years before my hip replacement, I learned acceptance of an aging body, to find joy in life in different ways than I previously had. Since recovering from hip replacement surgery, as I work to rebuild strength in severed muscles and rebuild the stamina lost while struggling to walk with a cane, I find myself much more appreciative of the little things in life than I ever did in my youth. I love being able to walk the quarter mile to the mail box and back. And yardening and daytripping and learning new things.

    Life isn’t about the age, or the gender, or race, or the lack or presence of ability. It is about the difference between really living and merely existing, making the most of what we are. It is about anticipation, not bitterness. And never, ever taking any of it for granted.

  10. I like the quote from C.S. Lewis: “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” To me, that says not to worry about your age, do and be what’s right for you.

  11. Zing! That was a surge of pep blasting through my system as I instantly felt more beautiful and wise than a minute before. I really relate to what you said about feeling like a 19 year old trapped in my current body. Lately, I’ve been enjoying my frown lines instead of deepening them. It is a tiny difference, but in a society bereft of mature role models, it feels revolutionary. I will remember this post as I move forward in time. Thank you.


    • Oh you are so welcome. If I can spare anyone from those awful ‘my life is over because I’m over 30 or 40 or XX’, it makes me very happy. So glad you are reading my blog. And glad I found yours.

  12. Here’s the part that I will replay when those discouraging self-pitying moments arrive: “Now I realize that aging isn’t an injustice as much as it is an undeserved reward. Not everyone gets here. We, all of us who looked battered and weathered, are more beautiful than we know.” Thanks for this. You nailed it.

  13. wow all of a sudden I want to share this with my parents, and grandparents; and mostly I want to print it out and keep it safe for a day when I am truly old. For a time when I may have joined the insufferable anti-wrinkles-anti-old-age campaign. And as a reminder that I need to be grateful and thankful for each day that has passed and each moment that will follow.

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  15. This is such a refreshing post. Love how you view aging as containing challenges that one can overcome or at least manage (which truly speaking is the same at all stages of life).It is not a crime to mature…You mentioned a key question that everyone really should ask themselves and that is how they want to be remembered. In an attempt to answer this question, many will see that they have choices to make and they still have plenty to do. Keep being you and inspiring those around you.

  16. I love this. I’m 25 and the types of people I value most are kids, and the “elderly”. Kids teach us how to have fun again, and what unconditional love & patience & long term pay off is. The “elderly” or those with experience as I believe can teach us what unfailing grace, patience, endurance, love and the beauty of life are. They share their individual histories, but also the history of the world, and of family. They are poster children of learning, and strength. They show us that no matter how hard it can be, we’ll get through. And while generations may not share an experience, culture, societal pressures, or hard ships, they can still be a guiding hand through those hard times, and a perfect reminder of those precious moments, that we can sometimes forget.

    • That’s really a beautiful thought. “They share their individual histories, but also the history of the world..”

  17. This is awesome. First an acknowledgement of the beauty of old age and then what could bring happiness… on that I think you are the best judge simply because you know know yourself more any other could!

  18. Also, just want to add – there is nothing wrong with enjoying activities and hobbies which are aimed at the “youth” – cartoons, games, puzzles, arts & crafts. There is no age for whic you have to stop those things! The opposite to holding onto youth is to be forced to grow up too fast! To “act like your age”. And that’s far worse! With pressure from parents, teachers, elders as I grew up to be “more grown up” I never had a chance to enjoy my youth freely without guilt when responsibility and plans were forced upon me. The best advice is to live each day as it comes and make a difference to your life each year by making dreams come true. Tick off those things from your bucket list each and every year. Life is short!

  19. Love this! Really hate getting older! Will be 30 next year……Never thought about looks before but the time passing by way too quick! And losing the goodness of youth – that energy and positivity. I think that’s what people mean when they say “young at heart” when your eyes are still full of wonder, eager to explore and your heart is open to love. You can have that feeling at any age – it’s not youth. It’s love for self and love for others and most importantly appreciation for simple things in life we take for granted. 🙂

  20. A wonderful gift, this post! The timing is profound. Today was an unprecedentedly perplexing day, in the midst of a process I am working: trying to get through a mid-life street-fight. Today I wasn’t winning the battle. Thank you for this great post. T

    • You came to the right place, Wilder Man on Rolling Creek. I love a good street fight. Hope it turns out the way you hope.

  21. There’s nothing wrong with being old at heart. When i hear old at heart, I think of wisdom, compassion, empathy, and experience; they’re all something we should strive for. If anything I’m jealous.

  22. Now that I have reached the age of 55, I have been thinking how grateful I am that I survived my 20s. And 30s and 40s. Last year on birthday I tried contra dancing. Fun. Not sure what I will try this year. When I was 52, I started writing again. My parents are good examples, now into their 80s of living the best part of their lives in their mature age.

  23. I am 52 and it took me a long time to get to the person I am. I sometimes cringe at my irresponsible, unthoughtful younger self. Not that I was a bad person, just that mortality and the true importance of life doesn’t seem so forthright as it does now. The what ifs and such are only very faint in my mind and now it’s the why nots!
    My wrinkles and stretch marks are only maps of where I’ve been but my wisdom, insight and old heart are things that will take me to where I’m going.
    I’m off to Paris this summer and feel great that I will be comfortable sitting in a cafe, glass of wine in hand, on my own, happy, satisfied.
    Great post…cheers!

  24. Your words make me think of my mother. My mom is 78 and much like you – so full of beauty, wisdom, vitality and life. As I watch my 15-year-old daughter live through the ‘teen worries,’ I wish I could infuse her with some of my years to steel her nerves a bit. Funny, at 50, I’ve never been as comfortable in my own skin as I am right now.
    Thank you for inspiring all ages.

  25. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say, and what a relief to hear it in a botox-obsessed world where youth is meant to rule okay.

  26. I try to embrace every age & whatever journey it takes me on, always keeping an open mind & a desire to enjoy the precious gift of time. Lovely to have met you & congrats on being Freshly Pressed.

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  28. It’s Alsof to read how you Feel and Think about it! I just LOVE to look at ‘older’ people! Their faces show Character and how their life has been. I still believe everyone should age Gracefully as no matter what stage you are in Life, Beauty still comes from within ;-). And true, looking to aged people who you already knew when they when younger, sometimes I believe they are even more attractive at a more mature age than when they were younger. For example Sean Connery, aged Beautifully :-). And so there are more. I will never to both or other plastic surgeries to keep looking younger, I will grow older with my own pure Beauty in a Graceful way :-). Much Love, Angelique

  29. I don’t mind getting older so long as it comes with massive amounts of money and respect. Our culture does that, right?

  30. I think you are right in the focus you have, and the idea to shift ones perspective and ask other questions, is more central today than ever. As a therapist I work with this all the time, and it can truly be magic when clients respond to it:)

  31. I’m looking at 40 in a couple months and feeling good about it. I still get carded for alcohol and surprise people with my age, so that’s a good feeling….. although, I won’t know what it feels like to be looked at like a “40-year-old” so I’ll just suffer for a bit longer. 🙂 Even though there are 40 years of learning in here and I’m starting to wise up to all that you are expressing, others won’t be responding to me in that way for a little while yet….. but I guess that’s a story for another post. Thanks for this perspective, ageism can be a pretty interesting topic I see….

  32. You have no idea how this post is helping me. I am going to be 68 and have always been young at heart. But with wrinkles edging deeply into my face and sagging skin on the neck area and arms, I don’t even want to go out. Silly I know. I guess it is vanity. Love your perspective and rather than working to be the best, I will strive to be where I am supposed to be and love every moment I am given. Very well written.

    • It’s not easy and I don’t claim to ‘love every moment’ although I wish I did. Some of aging is really a pain but still it’s rich in its own way.

      • You are well educated and are a really great writer. I am blessed to have crossed paths. Hopefully we can inspire each other along the way. Just lost an old friend who was 69. I try to not think about it. We must keep active and enjoy every moment.

  33. Reblogged this on empty vessels and commented:
    “Aging…Not everyone gets here. We, all of us who looked battered and weathered, are more beautiful than we know.”

  34. Hi Jan, This is the first time I’ve visited your blog .. thanks to Jean at Social Bridge. This post has got a lot of responses … and I’m fascinated how so many peeps want to share their age!
    I won’t … simply because it doesn’t really matter in the journey of who we are. I loved this post! And agree there is a lot of ageism out there. The ego gives a damn, but I don’t 😉
    Thank you for being you! This is such an important message in itself.

  35. I’d just like to stay here and hang out for a while. It feels good to hear a voice that doesn’t make everyone feel so bad about getting older.

  36. I needed to hear this! Thanks – and also, thanks for your story The Power of I am sorry – needed that too! (I am 47 and have been struggling with it – but feel so much better now after reading this! I have always had a problem with ‘young at heart’.)

    • I am very happy that you liked both pieces. The Power of I am Sorry is a really important one for me so I am really glad you found it helpful.

  37. I guess we better make old at heart will become chic. 🙂 Believe me it already is, when you’re still cycling to work, shopping, on trips like me @55 yrs.. and car-free for past 3 decades. (So I can’t make excuses.)

    Young at heart is not the correct phrase for me. It’s more like why are my interests so different than some other women around my age? Do they not have some passions, hobbies outside of their grown children?

    • Totally agree and sure wish I had been biking for the past 3 decades! Thinking of starting up again, though. Thanks for your comment.

      • Just get on the bike and do it! No need to think much. I’ve been participating in an international Internet women’s cycling forum for over 6 years. The most active women are over 35, with many over 50. Some of these women have more than 1 bike. I have 4 bikes. 🙂 It’s okay having no car..still makes it cheaper.

    • A good friend is Danish – special place in my heart for all people/things Danish. Best wishes back to you!

  38. I’m finding, Jan, as I head towards 64, that the biggest surprise is that I haven’t changed at all, in my essence. The other surprise is that retirement is a pure joy and has given me time to re-discover many things I used to love (like writing for fun and not work). I’m also exploring new stuff too……I’m not young at heart, really, or old….just like I’ve always been in my spirit/heart/essence. Whatever it’s called. The wrinkles, scars and saggy bits are badges of honour.

    • I agree with you. The core is still pretty much the same – the essence as you put it. It’s a good thing to remember as we age and as we regard others who are aging.

  39. I agree wholeheartedly. I am a college student now and I amazed at how many people in my generation are obsessed with youth and childish, cartoonish things because they are afraid of growing up. We had a “despicable me” themed banquet and a “frozen” movie night in my dorm. And we are in college! I think this is indicative of a culture that fetishizes youth and makes people terrified to grow up and become adults. I, on the other hand, embrace growing up.

  40. My wife and I are sixty eight and where both born three month apart at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital. Same floor, possibly with the same nurses, maybe in the same room and possibly by the same doctor in attendance. We are now three children later, two grandchildren and celebrating our 44th tomorrow. I understand your blog. Young people will say they understand but they will not. I wrote a blog today on love, and would like you to give it a read and give me your input. I thank you in advance. Barry

  41. Great post ! It’s truly a crime that our mature selves are not embraced in the media … Ageism is a harsh fact , even those over the age of 5o are experiencing this media set determination of which age is valued. The area I live in and my workplace allows me to witness this injustice all too well.
    Truth is as I age I too feel more comfortable in my skin, I too feel less competitive as well as give less merit to the flings and arrows tossed my way, I too feel more secure in the me that is emerging… Thank you so much for your post …I have been looking forward to experiencing this comfortable quiet of being as I mature person knowing I need to prove so much less. I have a greater sense now of what that might feel like . As I say embrace the now as that is all we have for each part of our journey. I have also witnessed far too many who fail to get to the comfort spot , and yes that is a much sadder truth :).

    • There are some mature actors who are changing things a little bit – Judi Densch comes to mind. Maybe as the incredibly hip folks age, it will get hipper to be older. 🙂

  42. As a 39 1/2 year old something I so value your line about life over on that side being awesome. Thank you thank you! I feel so grateful to have a handful of women in my life who are 10 and 20 years older than me from whom to learn and I appreciate your post in the same way. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Looking forward to more from you.

  43. I just turned 38 and recently wrote about becoming middle aged… I love the age I’m at now, I feel like I am really starting to understand what it’s all about! I just am a little sad that other people have all these stereotypical misconceptions about my age, and every age.

    Great piece, and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed 🙂

  44. Great post. Couldn’t agree more, especially having lost dozens of friends and family members prior to the age I am now (almost 60). We ARE the lucky ones, for sure! I love getting older (but not always how this body feels)! Best to you and let’s keep swimming!

  45. I haven’t paid attention yet to these questions. It will be interesting to think about these questions now.

  46. I totally agree with this, growing older should not be dreaded, instead you should look forward to your older days, and accept them when they come. I think it’s sad that the media nowadays portrays ageing as a mistake, because it’s not so much that you lose things, it’s more that you change. Some things you do seem to lose, true, like physical capabilities. But whatever you lose in stamina or strength or speed is none the less replaced by wisdom, experience, and compassion. So I guess you can say that older people have their own kind of beauty.

  47. How true, getting older is better than the alternative, as you wrote, an undeserved reward. I think of people I love who are or who have had to, fight a battle to stay alive every day and if we are healthy and ageing, well, we are bloody lucky.

  48. Lovely post! Norms have indeed cause more harm than good, It seems that once we’ve adopted some widely accepted norm, we fail to exercise flexibility. And we conveniently forget about gratitude.

  49. Lovely. As a new empty nester who is figuring out my next phase of life, I have yet to embrace my wrinkles but hey, I have definitely earned them.

  50. This is a brilliant post. It made me think of “youth is wasted on the young”. Whatever happened to the tremendous wealth that age brings and I’m not talking about money!

  51. Love your post ! I too am basically happy at my age (almost 54) as the insecurities that came with being young have gone and I can enjoy being me. Ok so Ive given in to the grey hair ( but no old lady hair style!) and wrinkles and some sagging are here but hey ho !

  52. Something different to read and nice.

    I believe I was a bit more mature when I was young when compared to my other friends. I would think and talk a bit more mature than they do. Whenever I used to visit my friends’ or cousins’ homes, I would talk more to their parents than I would talk to my friends or cousins. II would read the entire newspaper at one go or an entire political magazine at one go. So I was perhaps a bit older at heart of mind. But then I haven’t changed much. As I got older (I am still under 40) I guess now I think and act my age. I don’t know how will I feel or act 10 to 20 years down the line, but yes I wish to be happy. I have never regretted being mature for my age while I was young.

  53. I’m still quiet young but completely agree with all of this. For all ages, especially when I get looked at funny for knitting!!

  54. Beautiful words and and so relevant in a culture that worships youth and disregards the wisdom of age. I find your thoughts encouraging and strengthening. Thank you!

  55. A very good read,this post makes you question ageism especially as advancements are done such as Botox in order to prevent ageing. Surely it should be gracefully carried out as the young stage has gone and it’s a chance to embrace a new stage of life that everyone must experience. Well done on this

  56. I wish all incidents of accidental racism and accidental sexism were all met as gracefully and intelligently as your response to the accidental ageism in The Daily Post. I think we sometimes rightly feel that if we let it go, we’ve lost a small skirmish.

  57. I hate playing the breast cancer card, but that really changed me in a way. I was diagnosed right after turning 55 last year and I never thought it would happen to me. It made me feel differently about my age. Suddenly, I felt my time may be cut short. Luckily, I was stage 1 and am fine now. As I approach another birthday, I embrace the fact that time is a gift.
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. Nice to meet you!

  58. That’s a different way to look at it; I never thought of it that way. But what do I know? I’m only 22. Anyways, I always took the phrase, “young at heart” as meaning holding on to our innocence and naivety. For example, those who are younger and perhaps with less wisdom tend to be huge dreamers; the troubles of life have not yet weighed on them. I notice quite often that older people believe ‘you can’t do this’ or ‘you can’t do that’. They see the world for what it is and as a result, some things seem impossible to them. Well, with young folks, they don’t see limitations. They believe that they are invincible and they can do anything they put their minds to. I don’t know. Point is, I don’t think the phrase is saying that getting older is a bad thing. Perhaps they weren’t talking about outward appearance. Maybe the phrase isn’t referring to wrinkles and joint pain. Again, I don’t know. It’s just a thought.

    • Hey Raven Marie, I understand what you’re trying to say, but just to point out, young people aren’t the only dreamers and innocence and naivety is witnessed in all ages, depending on circumstances, etc. For example, I’ve met a lot of very wise young people who’ve been through a lot and some who were quite jaded and seemed to have the weight of the world on their shoulders. Also – especially these days, I see a lot of young people dictating to others all the time, as to what people should be wearing, who they should be listening to & so on. There’s also what is not said, in terms of what is not shown in movies (for example – older people in love scenes, etc) The term ‘young at heart’ dictates that ‘young’ is the only way to be happy. But again, I get what you’re trying to say.

  59. Thank you for your post! I wish that more people could see that although society highly values youth over all else, that does not mean that individuals need to adopt the same belief.

  60. I get what you’re saying. And actually kind of agree. But I’m terrified of getting old. Wrinkles don’t mean you aren’t beautiful, and beauty isn’t what I care about. What I care about is the health issues. To me grey hair and wrinkles are just signs of a body that is getting older. And that means reduced mobility. I’m only 21 but I’m already worrying about ageing. I already have mobility problems. I’m already in constant pain and on several daily medications. I already take regular naps to recover from pretty much any activity. It’s an achievement for me to even get to the swimming pool, nevermind swimming any laps. I eat small portions because otherwise my arms get tired and someone else has to feed me. So if I reach 60 or 70, what state will my body be in by then? For the most part and for most people, ageing is not something to be feared. No one is more beautiful to me than my grandma, and a few aching joints aren’t so bad. But I can understand why people don’t want to look in a mirror and see a reminder that their body is getting older. Would I want to be living in a body that can’t feed itself? I’ve already been in that body when I’ve had particularly bad days so I already know the answer. Age should be just a number. We should all be individuals rather than considered young or old at heart and no age should be considered more important or preferred over another. But that fear is still there inside of me, and I just can’t shake it.

    • I’m very sorry about your mobility issues. I don’t think they’re typical, though, which is why, while I understand why you might fear getting older, others, including me, don’t. I’m 24, almost 25. I have four grandparents and two great grandparents and trust me, being older does not mean reduced mobility. One of my great-grandfathers has passed away now, but he learned to ski when he was sixty and skied until he was eighty. In terms of not wanting to see myself get older, I don’t mind. It’s inevitable, and I’m Christian so I believe that death, in the words of Dumbledore, is “but the next great adventure.”

      • I do realise I’m not a typical case and ageing and death shouldn’t be feared. I thought maybe my story would be an extreme case that would maybe illustrate the genuine fear for some people. While ageing doesn’t necessarily mean reduced mobility, I think people who have seen severely reduced mobility whether in themselves like I have or older family members often have a true fear and that’s what I was hoping to illustrate with my story.

      • I see what you mean. I guess I just figure that I have no idea how I’m going to end up. Cancer and memory problems run in my family. I know it must be different when you’re currently ill and worrying about getting worse, but since I’m not sick, I don’t see that fear would help me or others who are getting older. I’m going to end up with the problems I end up with regardless.

      • Yes fear does nothing to help anyone and you have great perspective. I guess I wrote my original comment in the hope that someone with your perspective would read it and see the fear and understand where it comes from. Understanding the problem is the first step to helping others who are dealing with that problem.

  61. You know what? I have always admired people who were older than me because they always told me they wish they had the experience and mind they achieved at 40, 50, 60 when they were young. And that means that they couldn’t enjoy all try could have in their 20s and 30s. And just because of that, I’ve always believed that ageing can be a blessing! – and I’m looking forward to it!

  62. It’s interesting how one’s point of view of age changes as he/she gets older. I’m 38 and have been seeing people around 45-50 and think they look so young. Then I find out their age. Nothing has really changed except I’ve gotten older. I even see 20-somethings as children who still need training wheels. Aging is wonderful, yet peculiar.

  63. Well said. So far in my life, I’ve enjoyed all the ages. I liked my 30’s better than my 20’s and my 40’s have been even better. I’ll hit my fifties in a couple more years, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t like them even more. Certainly there are physical changes, and things to adapt to, but there’s always something to adapt to in one’s life, no matter what age.

  64. I just turned 55 – somehow that number felt significant to me – AARP harassment or something? I don’t know why. In any case, I wrote about aging too. And in reading your post, I feel like I’m in a great conversation! And an inspiring one. Well done and here’s to being on the other side!

  65. I don’t give a rip about numbers.

    Age, wealth percentile, BMI, SAT scores, zip code, how late it’s getting–all completely bullshit and utterly unhelpful in locating the best people to laugh with. I only pay attention to the interesting ones and the interesting ones never bring up that stuff.

    Only digits we need are a phone number and the address of the deli we’re meeting at for lunch. We got some serious laughing to do.

  66. I like the comment, “I don’t know how to act my age. I’ve never been this age before.” Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  67. I mostly agree but when I think of young of heart I think … What am I doing to stay open to new possibilities and opportunities, what am I going to keep learning or do that is different. Old hearts can exist in you g bodies without a willingness to be open.

  68. I remember while seeing my mother running around in a whirl looking after me and my three siblings, I would watch my grandmother sitting relaxing in the sunshine, and I thought to myself ‘one day I would like to grow old like her’. Growing old gracefully is a good aim in life.

  69. Funny, I was thinking the same thing today as Claudia and I marched back and forth from the farmers market at the Domes. Damn the arthritis – we can still do 6 miles in less than two hours. And now we are wise enough to take a nap afterward!!!

  70. The heart seems to get around in idiom. Ancient Egyptians were “long of heart” if joyful, and “made sound the heart” if telling you something important. I guess that neither memory nor anticipation reduplicate experience, so that it is really the wrong question to ask.

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