Grow Old With Me

IMG_1659aby Neva Bodin

Well, today is my birthday and I ain’t no spring chicken any more. I’m not sure I’d even be fit for the soup pot if I was a chicken. OK, I’m 73!

There are so many “forwards” re old age, most of them funny and almost all of them true. Recently, one said we had job security in translating cursive writing soon for younger generations! Since I’ve translated doctors’ writing for many years, I think I qualify.

I often think of the ways I’ve changed since childhood, and the ways I’ve stayed the same. Physically of course there are huge changes, which others can see more clearly.

My mirror tries to get the truth across to me, but my brain won’t accept it. When the hospital I worked at put up pictures of employees when young (I provided my nursing graduation pic) and current, back when I was in my 40’s, I couldn’t believe my boss didn’t recognize me in the younger picture! How could he be so blind?

But does anyone else hang onto their inner child the way I do? While experience and maturity has blunted some of my immature ways, or hammered them into more reasonable behavior, there are some fears and insecurities I refuse to grow out of.  I imagine I will take them to my grave. Fear of the dark is one. (And others I won’t admit to.)

Perhaps that has helped me to be more understanding and empathetic with others who deal with these insecurities and fears. I believe it also helps me get into my character’s skins more easily when I write. For they are the things of conflicts and sometimes erratic behavior.

“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

I thought I’d be serene, wise, motherly, able to handle anything that comes along by this age. I must think again.

I never stop changing; I am always learning, and should always be ready to embrace a new challenge each day. For certain, like ocean waves that wax and wane, the challenges will keep coming, no matter my age. We must be like trees, ready to bend but not break, and to dig in and become stronger, come sun or rain.

Sometimes I have to tell my inner child to stop whining and make me act my age. Although, at this age, now I don’t want to act my age!

12 thoughts on “Grow Old With Me

    1. I agree with the mirror thing. My boss once asked me how old I’d be if I didn’t know how old I was. Interesting question! And my answer would not have matched my age by quite a few years I’m afraid. Or maybe better to feel that way.


  1. Nice column. Now that’s I’m 66, I’m much more introspective, reviewing memories, wondering what might have been had I chosen a different path at one of the forks in the road. Happy birthday.


    1. How interesting! Hope you had a happy one too. My daughter’s birthday is Jan 12th also so get to celebrate with her each year. Yes, I alternate between thinking of how much time I may have left to get my projects out, and trying to ignore the thought!


  2. Good post, Neva. I understand. On my fortieth birthday, I finally felt all grown up. The next day, I was back to normal, feeling smart about how to reshelve books, and nothing else. I haven’t progressed. I was in my fifties when a new doctor, telling me about a certain medicine he could prescribe, and said, “Lots of older people take it.” A few visits later, I told him I know what it says on my chart, but I’m fifteen; he must have made a note, because he hasn’t mentioned age since. I don’t know when doctors got so young. Like you, I sometimes tell myself to grow up and just deal with things, and it works. For a few hours. One thing I’ve come face to face with is that I need to use my time more wisely. Unfortunately, I don’t think about that often enough. [I was most unhappy when I was reminded last year that I had to sign up for Medicare, because that’s what old people do; I made my husband fill out most of the forms. Aside from my not wanting to make the change, official forms make me nervous; at fifteen, I’d have tackled them without a qualm.]


    1. I understand all you wrote about. And I find I have anxiety and nervousness over things now that didn’t phase me when younger. I have pondered this and think it’s because we feel more vulnerable as we age. Physically, with less elasticity in my muscles and maybe my brain too. Yet I feel just as young and capable as 20 or 30 years ago when I forget how old I am most of the time. This growing old business is an experience for sure.


  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!. Thanks for sharing your perspective. I was recently surprised when I attended a class reunion. A classmate from grammar school recognized me, wrinkles and all


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