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Saturday, January 4, 2014


Do people still use the phrase, “Act your age, not your shoe size?” Or, am I acting my age just my admitting I know it?
Recently, a friend sent me a chain email about how our view of age changes over time. As children and teens we love getting older, taking credit for half-years and future ages. We say things like, I’m six and a half, I’m almost ten, I’m going to be sixteen. Throughout adolescence, we set our sights on the Holy Grail—becoming twenty-one.
From there our language changes, we go over the hill at 30, push 40 and 50, reach 60, hit 70 and 80, make it to 90 and beyond.
I followed the typical pattern, longing to be sweet sixteen, almost-adult eighteen, and finally-legal twenty-one. In my late twenties, I fretted about approaching the hill that was 30, but then right before that birthday, I got engaged and we married later that year and for a long while, I stopped paying much attention to my age. 
That is until two years ago, when I turned 60—and suddenly qualified for early retirement. Seriously? Early retirement? Me?
Sure, on some level, I always knew I was getting older, but I was not acutely aware. A fifty-something coworker summed it up when she learned I might early retire and said, “Wow, you qualify? All these years, I thought you were my age.”
The thing is I always thought I was her age, too!
Since then, I’m more aware of the signposts around me that suggest I am getting old. Often, when I am lugging and stacking firewood, or hauling and spreading a carload of mulch, or riding my bike in traffic, I ask myself, "Should someone my age be doing this?"
They say that age is just a number, that we are as young as we feel and act. I say, “Cool, that’s Totes McGotes!”
I tweet, use an iPad, want a new bike for my birthday next week, and know how to use Totes McGotes in a sentence.
How old does that make me?


  1. No tattoo? What are you waiting for Ma'am?

    1. Funny thing is that I always wanted a small flamingo or flip flops tat, but too chicken to get it

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. All of that just makes you an ageless Capricorn!

    Julie V.

  3. It makes you 10 days older than I. :>) BTW, I never heard of the Totes McGotes expression....

  4. I, too, am a Totes McGotes novicem but I feel younger just knowing it. Thanks Carol!

  5. Jasmine, glad I could provide a few drops of youth serum :)

  6. Love it! You are truly as old as you feel (or in some cases, act). I can't relate to my age at all.

  7. I lost track of my age for a while in my 20s and had a major mid-life crisis when 40 was imminent I feel younger in my 60s than I did in my 50s, but I use age as an excuse when I don't want to do the heavy lifting (figurative or literal). Someone will always help the gray-haired lady. Best of both worlds? Hope your 60s are satisfying, Carol!

  8. Happy Birthday! My funniest age story comes from one of my recent part-time jobs. I was filling out an application for a permanent dog license with my co-worker, who was, maybe, pushing 30. When we came to the section for senior citizen discounts, she coyly remarked, "Should I ask if you qualify for this?" To which I replied, "How old do you have to be?" She blurted, "65." I, feeling a bit wizened at 56, nearly fell off my chair. "How old do you think I AM???" I was laughing, though. My co-worker blushed to her roots and blubbered, "Well, Dr. ***** said you are even older than he is!" From that day on, I decided to lighten up at work...shouldn't let the senior citizen scrub those cages or tote those 50-lb bags of dog food ;-)