Four ways you know you’re getting old

Stage 1) The only people who ever call you young anymore are all old.


Stage 2) One day an old person says to you, “You know, you’re not young anymore.”


Stage 3) You’re teaching a summer class, all upperclassmen but for one student still in high school, whose email address has a number in it that indicates they were born back when you were in college. This is a first for you. And just as you recall with fleeting detail those days-gone-by when people still told you “you’re young,” you realize this will be the last time teaching someone born after you were in college is a first-time thing. The world is a relentless onslaught of people who had the nerve to be born after the 1980s.


Step 4) You’ve asked your students to examine a series of photos and draw facts/inferences. Some photos have people in them. You ask what the people have in common. To prompt discussion, you ask, “Are they young? Or old?” A student looks at you, smiles apologetically, and says, “Depends. What do you mean by ‘young?'”

Only the young find nuance in philosophizing on what counts as “young.”



6 thoughts on “Four ways you know you’re getting old

  1. Actually, I find that on the ‘other side of 50’ there are nuances to the word ‘old’. As in, being old(er) or old old. At what age is one OLD. Mid-life is neither young nor old. Cheryl on The Art of Being conflicted had an ‘old meter’ which basically conveyed that someone on the either side of one’s age is either old or young, wrt to you. So, what does one mean by young, hum was it from someone who is one the old side of young 😉
    Enjoyed the post.


    • Maybe what you say is what’s so new to experience–feeling neither young nor old. I’ve never been in that position before. Working predominately with people half my age is a gift–I’m refreshed by their energy and openness, but I’m also THRILLED that I’m past that time of life. There is another kind of energy that comes with the greater sense of peace I feel as I age into agelessness. It’s not a peace borne out of ignorance, but out of the increasing awareness at what a precious thing peace is. I like the way you put it: I’m very much now enjoying “the old side of young.”


  2. Ha, okay seriously. Who are these jokers that were born in the 90s??? Oh wait some of them are probably the doctors that will save my life when I get hit by a bus. Wow. Great.


  3. There’s something inescapably surreal about the idea of my future doctors and nurses all being people who were pooping their diapers when I was in college. At least the bus driver who hits you will in all likelihood be someone who had the decency to be born before you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s