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The Columbia Press

Columnists and Other Opinions

Senior Moments: Coming to terms with my own senior moments

Emma Edwards
By Emma Edwards, Thursday, July 15, 2021

I’m not yet frail, but I am elderly.

At what age did I consider myself elderly? Truth be told, I don't really know. I guess it kind of creeps up on a person.

The big question is do all my moments have to be senior moments? And, yes, there are times when I feel “giddy as a schoolgirl.”

Dare I step out of the mold of older, elderly, aging, and sometimes frail?

C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

I suspect the average church that lets you know “we have a seniors group open to all those over 55 years of age” is simply out of it. I attend such a senior's group and, if that age limit held true, all six of my children would be in the senior's group with me.

I don't know who decides what makes a person a senior, but some don't consider that 55 may be the new “middle age” that used to be 40. Think of it.

Sometimes, we learn from people we don’t always agree with but, nevertheless, we can learn from them. Maggie Kuhn (born in 1905) was forced into retirement at age 65, which was the custom at that time.

“Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind - even if your voice shakes,” Kuhn said. “Old age is not a disease - it is strength and survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illnesses.”

I have a nephew, Gary, who owns a physical therapy company in Michigan. One evening when I was talking to him, I just happened to mention my advancing age thinking he would be impressed and say something nice.

Instead, he said, “And so what, Auntie Em, are you bragging or complaining?” Having been taken aback, I had to think a moment. Yes, I could call that a senior moment for me, for sure.

Being a kind nephew who loves me, he felt it necessary to explain. He said he was so tired of people using age as an excuse to not do as well or to think they were incapable of advancing the healing process.

Norman Vincent Peale often said, “Live your life and forget your age.”

We have so much to be thankful for when you think about it.

By the time we earn the term “elderly,” we’ve learned the ability to psychoanalyze ourselves – and, I’ll add, to psychoanalyze others too.

Admittedly, we seniors (especially us elderly ones) tend to lean on the nitpicking or negative side.

As a child, I was often told “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything.”

I try, and I know you do, too!


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