4 Words


You may have heard that, even as I settle comfortably into my mid-forties, I’m experiencing the normal maintenance required by the human body in its dog days of summer. Grateful for my reasonably good health until now, I did not complain being fitted for new multifocal lenses and I suffered the replacement of several cracked molars with good humor and grace. It was only this last incident–symptoms of a potential tear in my retina–that blew the door to my anxiety closet wide open.

The thing that I noticed lately is that all of my doctors have been cushioning the blow of their diagnoses with the same four words. These four words so rankle: “As you get older…”

“But, but I’m NOT older,” I sputter at them.

I don’t actually sputter. I keep my indignant reply inside my brain, safely ensconced by my aging skull.

It’s not the physicality of my 40’s that makes me feel older. Not entirely, at least.
It’s the physicality of my children’s adolescence that really stupefies me.

Watching my kids grow older and wiser–through the lens of my healthy retina–and realizing that they are preparing to move on to the next stages of their lives, I can feel my youthful maternal joy transforming into something different.

“As you get older…”

Many good things happen as you get older. Life happens.

I think I’ll add four words to my doctors’ mantra.

As you get older, you appreciate life more.


Comments (6)

“As you get older” seems to hit the parents more than the child. I just had my 62nd birthday ~ my dad found it hard to realize he had a child old enough to qualify for Medicare!

That’s so true, Rhonda. I remember how my dad freaked out when I started going gray (I got that premature gray gene from my mom’s side, apparently), and he offered to pay for a dye job for me! Also, my 40th was harder for him than his 70th, I think. He should live & be well until I’m 62, so that he can tease me about my age.

“As you get older, you appreciate life more…” so true. My dad, in fact, loves to periodically break into the song from the movie Gigi: “I’m glad I’m not young anymore ….” Thank goodness we have gifts like wisdom and perspective to balance out the gray hairs and creaky joints!

And a sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either!

Here here my darling!! By the way, you’re not getting older, you’re just getting more seasoned – and I love you that way!! Hope you are enjoying your one-eyed summer.

Aging like fine wine or cheese, Helen? Since we’re pretty much the same age, I think we can agree on that…

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