How do you know that you are old? I saw a meme recently about that. It says that the best way to determine if you are old is to fall in front of a group of people. If they start laughing, then you are still young, but if they start running toward you and acting concerned, then you must be old.
Growing old is a continuous process; we start growing old from the day we are born and we do not stop until the day we die. Although the process may accelerate or slow down, it never stops. And even though we may try desperately to decelerate the process, it catches up with all of us in one way or another.
Growing old is a natural process of life, and whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, sooner or later old age will knock on your door like an unforgiving creditor ready to collect. People have come up with beautiful words to express and describe this transition.
In A Special Poem For Seasoned Citizens the writer Ira Lerner talks about the havoc of dependency on pills, she says:
A row of bottles on my shelf
caused me to analyze myself.
And in the analysis is where she takes a deeper look into her aging process and she speaks about the body aches and memory loss, among other things, that accompany it. Growing old is not easy, and this poems talks about both the mental and physical changes that old age causes
Another great poem about getting old is Changing Places by Alora M. Knight. In this poem the writer talks about the pain and struggles of memory loss and Alzheimer’s, and how one has to readjust to take care of those they love slowly slipping away. In the verse:
What’s happening to your wondrous mind,
The symptoms you are showing.
It was so hard to recognize
When they started coming through.
The little things that changed you
From the person that I knew.
Here she laments the little changes she can see that transforms the person with memory loss and how much it hurts watching her loved one turn into a complete stranger.
The True Meaning Of Life by Pat A. Fleming is another example of how one is forced to examine the whole meaning of life when old age has finally taken its place in one’s bones. The turmoil of realizing that all that chased dreams have amounted to dust. She says:
I stood on my own,
And I still found my way,
Through some nights filled with tears,
And the dawn of new days.
And now with old age,
It’s become very clear,
Things I once found important,
Were not why I was here.
This poem is written by an older adult who is reflecting back on her younger days. Here, she is sharing an introspection in which she acknowledges a change in perspective brought about by age.
Another quite remarkable poem that ponders life and its fleeing beauties is Growing Old, by Robert William Service, the writer says:
Somehow the skies don’t seem so blue
As they used to be;
Blossoms have a fainter hue,
Grass less green I see.
There’s no twinkle in a star,
Dawns don’t seem so gold
Yet, of course, I know they are:
Guess I’m growing old.
Here, he’s obviously not just referring to a loss of sight, but in the changes that he feels as a result of aging. This is a challenge to be aware of as we age – how do we stay inspired? Never stop learning!