Aging & Math [PoiMe]

pointless meanderings

Something weird is happening to me as I approach the Big Birthday. I used to laugh off the angst people express about bday numbers… when I turned 40, I didn’t care at all. I looked way younger than my age, felt great, and wasn’t fussed a bit.

But then 50 came around. My big deal about turning 50, or so I told myself, wasn’t the number or how I looked (still okay), but how 50 would be perceived by Other People, namely men. At 50, I was still on dating sites and hoping to find my soul mate. It sounds so ridiculous now, but I was. I knew (because they said so) that men in my age range often cut off their search for women in the upper 40s. Even 60 year old men preferred women in their 40s.

I got extremely sick over the weekend of my 50th birthday. I thought it was because I had some ice cream with liquor that Friday night, but it was only an ounce or so and doesn’t explain throwing up for 24 hours. My daughters were taking care of me and were certain the 2-day sickness was a psychological reaction to turning 50. Nah, I said, that’s silly.

But over time I realized they were correct.

Even before I became a grandma, I began to feel old. Besides receiving dramatically less attention on dating sites, I felt achy and tired, increasingly so, and knew I was rapidly looking older. A few years later, I gave up dating completely, figuring that was the end of worrying about age.


I still think about it ~ a lot. Not because of my failure to find a soul mate but because of the whole retirement and death thing looming. While many people live into their 90s now, lots don’t. My parents didn’t. It’s not unreasonable to believe I may have less than 20 years of natural life left (assuming I don’t die much sooner in a dumb accident). That’s pretty daunting.

The mind works in strange ways. Mine keeps screwing up age-related math. I keep forgetting how long ago the 1980s were. It doesn’t seem right. The other day I posted that 1971 was 40 years ago. Today on FB, I couldn’t do the simplest math to find the number one song on my 21st birthday.

It’s really weird. When I’m not actively stressed about aging, I seem to be floating in a bubble of denial. I think I’m actually pretty upset about my birthday, which I’ve been thinking about a lot more than I want to. Might as well admit it. I do feel old. My body hurts all the time and I no longer look younger than my age.

Hopefully after the day passes I’ll be able to shrug off the number. Not looking for compliments, only mutual commiseration from other oldies.


©️2021 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

46 responses to “Aging & Math [PoiMe]

  1. You are going to be fine Paula as age is just a number. The good news is that you can sign up with the Our Time dating site now, as that is for singles that are over 50.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m turning 42 this year, which is weird to me, because I feel like I should be turning at least 60. Longevity runs in the family, which I am all kinds of not impressed about.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah age. Turning 40 didn’t bother me because my life was starting over. 50 was eh… 60 a lot harder… the next decade milestone —-ug. I hear you. I feel it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What’s interesting about this, Paula, is I’ve often thought how good age looks on you. You always were kind, but you’re kinder. You always were soft-hearted, but you’re softer. You always were empathetic, and you’re more so. And you’re still as beautiful as ever.

    Of course, none of that negates what you’re feeling, nor should it. That isn’t my intent. Just sharing the perspective of someone who has almost 10 years on you, has always adored you, and who’s watched what I believe is a perfectly lovely metamorphosis.

    I’m truly sorry that you’re troubled by the effects of aging, and I especially wish you didn’t have to suffer from pain. But it’s not all bad … being a granny to those two grandbabies becomes you. And before you know it, this COVID nightmare will diminish and you’ll be able to see them and your daughters whenever you want.

    Take care of yourself. Be kind to yourself.


    P.S. I treasure your friendship and I’m thankful you’re part of my life.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so with you on this. As Billy Connelly said. You know your old when you can’t get up without making a noise. I’m well passed that now. Everything makes a noise now.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I laugh now when I remember the angst I had when approaching 30. I honestly think the most difficult thing about approaching 60 (and beyond) is how you’re brainwashed into believing that a downward slide is inevitable and that you’ll be a certain way. It’s even more difficult than accepting the number of years you’ve been on the planet. I watched an old TV series of Charles Kuralt: On The Road which were made starting about 50 years ago. One segment has a guy who is 104 years old that started running everywhere when he was a kid and never stopped. He was a full-time banquet server, ran back and forth to work and also put in miles running a day. He refused to believe the “sentence” of age. Don’t buy into it, my friend. You’re about to be 60 and you are BEAUTIFUL!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ll be turning 60 in November! Looking forward to it as I’ve been telling everyone that I’m old for the last decade!
    But I still can do silly things and behave like a child with my grandkids and I still enjoy life. I think no one knows how long they’ll live so enjoy whatever time you have and just look after your health as that’s the most important thing about being alive!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’ve found that I cant remember how old I am most of the time. Mathing years IS hard. The 80s could NOT have been 40 years ago.
    I’m about to be 53, not a “biggie” but I’ve noticed how long it takes to heal, more wrinkles, “old lady bird skin” that tears easy. My body is betraying me and I don’t like it!
    I think being in pain all the time wears on us too. Makes us feel “old”. I wish AARP would quit sending me stuff🙄🤦🏼‍♀️ and funeral insurance offers… dang!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ll be 67 in a few months. Birthdays have never bothered me. Chronic pain disabilities bother me way more than a number. I relish the good days and do much more than I probably should. I have finally learned to accept the bad days, and take care of myself. I retired after teaching for 35 years and I feel much younger now because I don’t have the stress from overworking every day. I loved my job, but retirement is the bomb. Do whatever makes you happy on your birthday. Rewrite the script. Make it one that says you are celebrating another trip around the sun. Mazel tov on reaching this age with wisdom and kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As someone who is a few months ahead, my experience so far with being 60 is that is passes me off. Every time I see that number, it looks wrong to me. Because I don’t feel 60! I don’t think 60! I don’t even look 60. The number is a lie. (Though the reality of no longer being young and promising does have to be acknowledged. Hmm… We need cupcakes!) And how dare kids born the year I graduated from high school claim to be in their 40s!?! Definitely need cupcakes. 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m a septuagenarian and my experience has been that, in the grand scheme of things, I’m more at peace with myself and my life now than was when I was younger.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Aw, man, you care about your age? You’re just like a fine wine, you’ll keep getting better as you get older. You think your looks will be what makes or breaks a relationship? I don’t agree. There is a lot to be said for having a partner of a similar age because they will likely also have similar life experiences. When he has a problem because his grown-up daughter, who should know a darned site better, did something dumb, you could relate*. A 40yo couldn’t do that.

    * except you already said, yours are perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m not sure what you mean when you say “I’m approaching a BIG birthday”…because age is relative and what bugs one person will be a ‘meh’ to another. I too am rolling up (far too fast) on my next marker that I went around the sun another time. I was fairly bothered last year when I approached my 60th, but now that 61 is in the wings, I’m more ‘meh’. I do NOT like the whole ‘we’re living longer and longer’ business at all (yeah? and where is the money to do that gonna come from??) My sibling (who will be 60 this year himself) mentioned that longetivity factoid in our last conversation. I have an auntie who will hit 100 in March; and my paternal grandmother was 103 when she died. Her sister was 105 or something awful. GAH! I’m rather happily anticipating being able to shuffle off this mortal coil in about eleven years. I just have to get things organized in readiness I guess.

    Point is: Hang in there. Confidence is the most enduring ‘beauty’ enhancer (in my opinion). If you feel beautiful, you’ll BE beautiful. You ARE beautiful anyway, and those dating sites? Designed to make money and not much else (IMHO). Your birthday? Just a number, you’re still gonna be YOU inside whether you’re turning 12 or 70… (I know you’re not THAT old btw)..


  14. I’m right there with ya’ babe. I’m 68 now, which is a total shock since I was only turning 45 about an hour ago and was “old” then. The 80s seem like yesterday. I just got back from Southeast Asia a couple of weeks ago, and that shithead from high school is still around the corner awaiting a chance to make an appearance in my life along with my long-dead-and-dust girlfriend. 9/11 was yesterday, and an old job I ain’t set foot in since 2008 feels like I left yesterday.

    Either no one told me or I wasn’t paying attention — at our age it seems the whole thing went by in a flash, and that’s worrisome because even if I crank along for another 25 or 30, an uncertain affair at best, how long is that?

    Then I bring myself back to the central fact of the matter: In terms of life, I’ve got as much real time available to me as anyone has ever had. The past doesn’t exist and neither does the future, not really, outside of memory and imagination. We have as much usable time as we ever had — the instant of right now. Everything else is either malleable, untrustworthy documentation and propaganda kept by an unreliable narrator or confident predictions by a blind driver in rush-hour traffic, depending on which side of “now” you contemplate. (shrug) Now will do fine, thanks — friends, family, kids, grandkids, and a great-grandkid and things to do in the moment from great works to reading a book to mowing the lawn to writing comments on this blog.

    I get it — It’s hard to keep that in mind in the late hours or when approaching milestones, since our heads haven’t evolved to think this way; but the truth of the matter is that everything outside this infinitesimal “now” is just occasionally entertaining, often annoying, ornamental foofarah anyhow.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: Oddities | sparksfromacombustiblemind

  16. Your post and all the comments were wonderful to read, Paula. Especially as I’ve been thinking about all this as well lately as I am about to be 58 (in April). Honestly, that for me isn’t nearly as bizarre as having a son who’s about to be 30 and my baby girl is 28. Wasn’t I just 28? Looking forward to grandkids, though!

    Being solo in the pandemic has been an interesting experience, and I completely agree about the dating sites. Blech. I agree with every positive “age is just a number” comment, and I look to my friends going strong and happy in their 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s. My own mother is a very kickass 84 who started a whole new life last year (my father passed away in 2017) and has never been more content.

    Anyway, happy birthday. I think you’re awesome, and I love reading your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’ll have seventy in my pocket this year. Don’t regret even one. Time flies too fast. So don’t dwell. 💜🦋😊

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Ok. Im 69…been happily married for 32 years, I’m 2 yrs older than my hubby. I went thru a “whst the hell” happened stage, but then I thought… everyone is aging just like me, some are looking it, others not but I refuse to be on a “pitypot” and not enjoy it.
    Look at my anonymous quote!!! Woo-hoo what a ride!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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