Archives for posts with tag: age

Depends on when you ask me. On a good day, I feel energetic and full of potential, excited at what may lie before me. On a bad day (usually as I am trying to get to sleep at night, or somewhere in the wee small hours of the morning ) I worry that I am kidding myself, and that it is over.  (Whatever “it” is.)

My mother frequently said, “Age is a state of mind.” Well, yes. But no. I may feel completely sprightly on any given day, but the calendar and the mirror discreetly clear their throats, and remind me of certain inevitable realities.

I am too old to apply to certain jobs. The struggle for me is to not let that small, specific truth morph into a sense that I am too old to apply to any jobs.

I know that age discrimination in employment is illegal; I also know that it exists. What’s a grownup to do?

My solution for now is to keep “Age out of mind.”

I will never really be able to know whether it is, in fact “too late.” Unless of course I make it so, by giving up.

I honestly go for days, weeks, and sometimes even months without giving too much thought to my age. And then something happens that makes me think about it, and I feel old. In the bad way. The “Everything is Headed South and it is Too Late to DO Anything About it” way. Fortunately, that really doesn’t happen all that often. (Good thing, because it really hurts when it does.)

Lately, I’ve been feeling too old.

In the right way.

I’m too old to keep on operating under assumptions, that if they were ever true, are certainly outdated.

I’m too old to wear cheap shoes. Unless I want to. If they’re cute. And comfortable.

I’m too old to hope that things will happen simply because I wish they would.

I’m too old not to try.

I’m too old not to give myself credit.

I’m too old to save the good stuff  for later.

I’m too old not to take care of myself and my family.

I’m too old to wait for approval. Or permission.

I’m too old not to sing in the car.

I’m too old to ignore or deny my power.

I’m too old not to appreciate what I have, what I am, and what I can still be.

My mom used to say, “Age is a state of mind,” which is of course, the companion phrase to “You are only as old as you feel.”

On Thursday, I took my usual walk with my next door neighbor (4.2 miles this time) before working a busy eight-hour shift at the store. I got home shortly after  8:00 p.m., visited with Dr. T and Waldo, and had a snack. Another neighbor, with whom I have occasionally started walking in the evenings, texted me. Would Waldo and I care to join her and her dog for a stroll? Sure.

I hooked up the dog and headed down the street. I enjoyed a pleasant visit with my neighbor on the deserted creek side path, smelling the honeysuckle and admiring the sky, laughing at the dogs losing their minds at the smell of the deer in the distance.

We talked about our days. “You must be exhausted,” my neighbor said when she heard about mine. “Not really,” said I, “I actually feel pretty good.”

I’m not sure how far the second walk was, but I was gone about an hour, and I know that the round trip from my house to the trailhead at the end of my neighbor’s street is one mile, so I am guessing roughly two or three miles total. Knowing I did not have to work the following day, I stayed up for a while.

Yesterday, I had an early appointment with the doctor. I came home, did some general straightening around the house and helped Dr. T with some pool-related chores in the backyard. I vacuumed the living room and family room carpets. I picked up the dry cleaning and dropped off a pair of pants for alterations. I got home around 2:30, and by 3:00 I was headed back to bed, completely flummoxed as to why I was so dang tired. Then I thought about Thursday.

Writing this, I am reminded of my 10th high school reunion, way back when. We danced and drank and carried on, and the next day there was an informal picnic at a neighborhood park. I still remember what  my classmate Joel said that afternoon: “It didn’t seem like ten years last night, but it sure does today.”

It’s always the next day that gets you, isn’t it?

George Lakoff

George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (

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