I offer these two women’s voices quoted from the 2003 book, Wise Women: A Celebration of Their Insights, Courage and Beauty, by Joyce Tenneson. They speak for themselves and maybe for many of us who are facing our aging with grace and valor.
I’m a bit envious
of the younger generation
They have so much freedom compared to us
I got married the day I graduated!
A lot of my friends are passing away now,
The rest of us are worried
about outliving our pensions and assets—
we don’t want to be a burden to our families,
Now I live alone with my cat.
I’m always collecting feathers,
I use them to play with him—
we’re good for each other.
–Sadie Simms Allen, 81
I still don’t dye my hair,
My advice is to follow your conscience
I’ve had several lives,
I’m not the same person I was
At twenty, forty or even sixty,
Now I’m a role model
for women in their seventies and eighties!
When you’re this old, you can reconsider your whole live.
You can relive your life and
understand it with a pleasure and perception
not available when you first experienced it.
People are extremely nice to me now,
because I am no longer a threat to them.
–Polly Kline, 97
I used to perm my hair,
but now, and for many years, I have let it go natural,
straight as a stick, silvery white.
I used to be shy,
but now I say what I think,
choosing my words carefully
so as not to offend.
I have concerns about the future,
but they don’t paralyze me.
the future is in the faces of my grandchildren,
in them I have hope.
–Elizabeth David, 82
Who are you? Who would you rather be?
A friend encouraged me to join BOLLI where I began to offer courses in which we discuss our aging–from the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of our lives. My passion is to help others to gain deeper understanding of themselves and the changes, losses, gains, and glories of aging. So, “grow old along with me–the best is yet to be.”