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How to Tell if You Are Early Old

As my mom used to say, "Every dog has his day" and "We are all heading in the same direction". Reminders that with every beat of the heart, every minute that passes, we are getting older. Millions have been spent trying to preserve youth, both cosemtically and biologically. Alexander the Great searched for the fountain of youth in the 4th century BC and Ponce De Leon was looking for the same place in 1512. Silicon Valley billionaires are pouring money into the same quest today.

If we are lucky, we will get old. But no-one wants to be "early old". If you want to stay youthful as you age, stop doing these things:

  • Talking about your health. No-one under the age of 40 talks about visits to the doctor, colonoscopies, their aching joints and eczema. Why is it that after age 50, that is the main subject that everyone can participate in? Politics and religion are forbidden topics at parties. If you want to avoid being early old, add aches and pains to that list.

  • Avoiding technology. It's true we will never catch up to the Gen Zers who were raised with a mouse and screen. Asking grandkids for help with scrolling around tic toc is understandable. We need to help them learn to pour milk without spilling so it's a quid pro quo. But at the very least we should understand how to navigate the internet, use tablets and phones, communicate online with doctors and banks and quit falling for internet scams. And beware: the scams will he heating up with AI. (artificial intelligence). Playing Wordle with the family and texting results is a good way to use technology and keep sharp. Play around with ChatGPT on your computer and be an early adopter. You'll be amazed and feel in the know!

  • Groaning. Groaning when you sit. Groaning when you stand. Groaning when you lean over to feed the dog. Groaning when you see the mailman and don't want to fetch the mail. These groans are unconscious so being aware of groaning can help you feel younger.

  • Complaining. Young people may whine about something but they don't endlessly complain. Sure we have more responsibilities as we age, but a lot of complaining from "old folks" has to do with change. No sentence should start with "When I was growing up...", unless it is to give a good history lesson. Prices, traffic, cost of medications, lousy TV shows, that young doctor, rap music lyrics, those noisy kids are complaints that signal "I'm old".

  • Liking getting asked for ID. This shows you are really old. They know you are over 21. It's just the law.

  • Hating noisy places. You don't have to go all the time, but sometimes it's good to step out of your comfort zone and experience where the young folks are.

  • Ignoring style. I get it. I'm old and I like comfort. But paying attention to style and trends can bring a sense of youth to your life. Get help from a younger person if you don't know where to start. Throw away that moth-eaten lilac colored baggy sweater. Make sure your t-shirts aren't saggy and too long for present style. Ladies if you are still wearing dark eyeliner and panty hose, you need a change. Guys, don't wear socks with sandals...ever.

  • Never going out. When were were young our answer was "Yes". It didn't matter where we were going, it was "Let's go". To avoid being early old, force yourself to do (at least) one new thing a month. Comedy? A concert? A book reading? Trivia night at the library? High tea with a friend you never see? A drive or hike to a new area? The possibilities are endless.

There are lots of other ways to avoid being early old but that's enough to start with. You may disagree or wish to add your own. Happy to hear your thoughts. Stay young at heart!

Addendum: One way to tell an old person is that we double space after a period. I don't know why this is such a thing...but it appears it is. You'll see I do it. Too hard to go back and change every sentence.


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