So, I’m nearly 37. Which…isn’t quite true. I’ve seen 37. They were my teachers and my friend’s moms. Even some of the women I know right now are a proper 37, with large grown up homes, ordered finances and…I don’t know. Whatever 37 year olds like. Wine?
So, lean into the fear, or it can’t ever pass. I am going to die. But before that I’m going to get old. My reward for not dying young will be the slow unraveling of my body and mind, and the slow loss of all that I’ve built. Loving marriage, my children, career, it will all go away and I hate that so much.
I’m not…I haven’t figured this out yet. But as I often do, I turned to the 19th century to help me. Didn’t really help but it was fun looking.
Got any answers? Don’t say God. I already know that one.
I like this one, even though ( or especially because) it’s not in English. Russian, 1867, “The Steps of Life.” I’ve seen these before; they were popular into the early 20th century especially as a way to show what would happen if you made bad choices. There seems to be no judgement in this story. I love how the peak of his life ends when becomes aware of death.
Stumbling on this was the one that got me down this track today. I think I’m afraid of being old. One day I’ll be alone. My kids will get their own lives, Gus will die. This picture, I know it’s sappy, but so sweet. Comforting, too. That if you pack your life with sweet living the memories will warm you no matter how alone you are.
“Fig. 26 : The median forehead wrinkles produced by the contraction of m. corrugator supercilii, in a 52-year-oldwoman, shown also in Fig. 11, whose skin is thin and burned by the wind and sun.” – 1876. Man. It’s that expression that breaks my heart. “I am old and I am done. I never thought I’d be old.”
Aesop. I take much the same message from this as from the old lady by the fire with her memories. One day you will only have the dregs of your life. May they be delicious.
This is part of an obscure nursery rhyme when an old woman falls asleep by the road and “a pedlar named Stout” comes and cuts off her skirts at the knees. She wakes up freezing and disorientated. And she keeps saying, “This can’t be me!” She goes home hoping that if she is indeed herself her little dog will recognize her, but instead he barks at her. So she is lost. She lost herself. I feel echoes of senility, Alzheimer’s, even just waking up one day with none of the life left that you’d built for 70 years.