Is this what ageing is really all about?
Is this what ageing is really all about? Creeping painfully into the twilight? Wiped out, unheard, marginal, ignored and sad?
Once maybe, but a change had taken place, led by oldies themselves. And for those of us who have passed the waterline of 50 (and then some), it’s all good energy. It’s not only Diana Athill (more power to her 1917- vintage elbow) but there’s a rising chorus – Joan Chittister who subtitles her book, The Gift of Years, ‘Growing Older Gracefully’, Irma Kurtz who defiantly subtitles her own About Time, ‘Growing Old Disgracefully’, and other good and feisty guerilla fighters who are lining up with shotguns on the last redoubt.
Growing old gracefully or disgracefully – which would you rather do? Not the point, I think. The thing nowadays is to have the choice. So this blog wants to walk an independent line between graceful and disgraceful – different things at different times. It’s not about just saying ‘Boo!’ in the face of time.
I am curious about ageing – what are the gains? What do we lose and how do people cope with that? What can I learn? How can I go on feeling? I don’t want ageing to slip by unexamined. A friend’s 96-year-old mother said, ‘Ah, if only I was 80 again…’
Some things do change with age, but the spirit – with a bit of luck – lives on.