How to be old: a poem
You can't be old without being young for a very long time I'm sorry my dears but that's how it is. Old age is your reward but you have to earn it. You have to put in the hours you have to learn it.
Young, young, young, on and on it goes then grown up then middle aged mile after mile, year after year after year. Mummy, Daddy, when are we going to get there?
You can't be old without being young for a very very very long time
You're allowed to think you're old but not to say so. Where's the fun in that? Simmer down. Have a banana. Let's get this straight.
1. Chronological age: that's what they mean when they say “Age is just a number.” It’s the number of birthdays that you’ve had and you have to have lots of birthdays to be old. I know it's not fair but what can you do? Blame statins and vaccinations and sewage pipes for that. 2. Biological age. That's different and it shows in skin and bones and brains. That's what they mean when they say "You look young for your age." Or old.
3. Then there’s a certain attitude to life. That's what they mean when they say “It's all in the mind.” But attitude has nothing to do with youth.
It’s true that some old people lose the ability to enthuse. They refuse. They recuse. That's not being old! That's being sad. Or grumpy.
So there it is. If you want to be old one day— and you do, you know you do— you want that secret smile you want serenity You want our personality! Our insolence and honesty our sagacity our cushion of identity you want old friends you want photographs and knick-knacks you want long-term insights you want to be a family tree— If you want to be old, you can by staying alive for years and years and years and years hanging in there for your reward: old age.
You can't be old without being young for a long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long time.
—Rachel McAlpine 2021 CC BY 2.0Follow Write Into Life