Age on the inside

IMG_2084 It’s come to this.

I’ve written before about my theory that we are any age we have ever been all at the same time at any given moment in our lives. And so we look out at the young people and for one brief moment see them as our peers because our inside still remembers being 15 and 25 and 35 and…

But as I have gotten older my outside keeps trying to remind my inside how old I truly am. Not an hour ago I–who hurt every single day but will only take ibuprofen if I’m going somewhere (like D.C.) I really want to power through–asked my husband to pick me up some “joint juice” at Costco. While many sites said there is not proven benefit beyond placebo effect to glucosamine chondroitin, some people I know swear by it and other sites said it could provide moderate benefit and I am feeling that I should give it a try. Because I want to move.

My grandfather who lived to 98 told me every day “growing old ain’t for sissies.” My friend Scott wrote some lovely lyrics “growing old is the slowest form of time travel.” All of that may be true. One makes me laugh and also makes me afraid. The other resonates deep in my soul.

But when I remember that sweet woman who happened to go through the entry gate adjacent to ours at Hogle Zoo on Saturday who was turning 98 the same day our grandson James was turning 2 and whose family said “She wanted to come to the zoo for her birthday” and I think age must be relative. We may be the sum of our years and all ages we’ve ever been and we might hurt or limp or be in a wheelchair at any of those ages and yet what really matters is what age we are in our hearts.

And if we have the courage–at 92–to say to our adult children, “It’s my birthday and I want to go to the zoo.”


May we be blessed with children who will–regardless of their own ages–honor such a beautiful wish.

[Day 177 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]