What’s so fun about getting old? Not much, according to the wisest man who ever lived. Here’s what Solomon said about our “Golden Years”:
Honor and enjoy your Creator while you are still young,
Before the years take their toll and your vigor diminishes,
Before your vision goes dark and the world goes blurry
And the winter years keep you close to the fire.
In old age, your body no longer serves you so well.
Loosens muscles, weakens grip, stiffens joints.
The shadows are lowered over the world.
You cannot come and go at will. Things stop.
The hum of the house fades.
Now the song of the birds awakens you.
Mountain walks are a thing of the past.
Even a walk on the road has its terrors.
Your hair turns white like the apple tree
Adorning a fragile and powerless matchstick body.
Yes, you are on your way to eternal rest,
While your friends make plans for your funeral.
Life, beautiful while it lasts, is soon over.
Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
The body is placed back on the same ground from which it came.
The spirit returns to God, who breathed it first.
Ecclesiastes 12: 1-7 (The message)
Old King Solomon said it all, didn’t he? Sure, aches and pains aren’t much fun. Having wrinkles along with a bigger belly (or butt) isn’t much fun either. And let’s just say, those mirrors are getting downright vicious! Tell me, do you make a shopping list because you know you can’t trust your memory and then you go off and forget the list? Yes, I have been there and I have done that. So my fellow mature baby boomers, in addition to joining the vampires to avoid mirrors and taping the shopping list to our wrists, how can we best cope with the aging dilemma?
I say quotable quotes! That’s how it is; Let’s go to the funniest quotes we can find on aging and see if that doesn’t help ease the burden of seeing too many candles staring at us on the birthday cake.
Here’s the cream of the crop, or at least the best I’ve been able to unearth:
“You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.” Dave Barry (1947-) American comedian
“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age.” Lucille Ball (1911-1989) American actress
“If you want to get your youth back, just cut off the allowance.” Al Bernstein American writer and actor
“There is no fool like an old fool: there is nothing better than experience.” Jacob Morton Braude (1896-1970) American writer, author
“By the time you’re eighty you’ve learned everything. You just have to remember it.” George Burns (1896-1996), American actor and comedian
“I can’t understand why I failed American history. When I was a kid, there was so little of it.” George burns
“If you live to be one hundred, you have it done because very few people die after one hundred.” George burns
“Is it good to be here? At my age it is good to be anywhere.” George burns
“Old age is when the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue bothers you because there are fewer articles to read.” George burns
“No man knows that he is young while he is young.” GK Chesterton (1874-1936) English writer
“Old age is not so bad when you consider the alternatives.” Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972), French actor and singer
“He is so old that his blood type was discontinued.” Bill Dana (1924-) American comedian, actor and screenwriter
“I’m at the age where food has replaced sex in my life. In fact, they just put a mirror on the kitchen table.” Rodney Dangerfield (1921-2004) American actor and comedian
“The really scary thing about middle age is that you know you’ll get over it.” Doris Day (1924-) American actress, singer
“One of the many things that no one tells you about middle age is that it is such a nice change from being young.” Dorothy Canfield Fisher (1879-1958) American author
“I wake up every morning at nine and grab the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.” Harry Hershfield (1885-1974), American comic book artist
“Middle age is when you still think you will feel better in the morning.” Bob Hope (1903-2003) American comedian, actor
“Middle age is when your age starts to show around the middle.” Bob hope
“If you don’t learn to laugh at problems, you won’t have anything to laugh about when you’re old.” Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937) American journalist
“Every time a man’s friends start complimenting him on looking young, you can be sure they think he’s getting old.” Washington Irving (1783-1859) American author
“Age is not a particularly interesting topic. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.” Groucho Marx (1890-1977) American comedian
“Old age is like flying through a storm. Once you are on board, there is nothing you can do.” Golda Meir (1898-1978) Prime Minister of Israel
“A stockbroker urged me to buy a share that would triple in value every year. I said, ‘At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas.’ “Claude D. Pepper (1900-1989) Florida Senator and Representative
“Some become bitter with age; the more their teeth fall out, the more they bite.” George D. Prentice (1802-1870)
“The complaint of the young is a necessary part of the hygiene of the elderly and helps a lot to the circulation of their blood.” Logan Pearsall Smith (1865-1946)
“I am so lonely; everyone is dying; I have hardly a warm personal enemy left.” James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903), American painter, printmaker, and genius
“I’m not young enough to know everything.” Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), Irish author and wit
“As long as a woman may look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied.” Oscar Wilde
There, did that help? Yes, I know. Some of the dates are not that fun. I threw them out to see if you were still awake. Why not memorize some of these quotes and try them out with an old friend or two? You could make their day. Or they can just raise the trumpet and shout, “Huh?”
If I haven’t included your favorite aging quote, please email it to me and I’ll include it in the next article.
I believe that eventually you will become whatever you allow your mind to think about. So if you want to be happy during the “senior years” my advice is: start a collection of humorous quotes. It sure beats thinking about your aches and pains! Who knows, after a few inspiring words from George Burns or Oscar Wilde, even that old vulture you see in the mirror might start to look more cheerful.