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Reflections on Aging

Updated on July 12, 2010
The author, in 1991. Age 37
The author, in 1991. Age 37

Let's face it, none of us want to grow old. Maturity is cool, so is wisdom, but aging seems to be anathema! And yet, we all age and it beats the alternative....death. My friend and I decided to go take in a movie last night at the Riverview in Reno. Nevada. Walking along the riverside we were struck by the effervescence of youth, the tattoos, the piercings, the hairstyles. Stopping for "Java" I noticed most around me were young adults, and not many were "of a certain age". This never bothers me, as I am a youthful spirit.

Entering the lobby of the theater I noticed a sign that seniors could get a free drink with a purchased popcorn, so of course I announced my status and paid for my ticket. I did not end up getting said drink, but one of the kudos of being older is a discount that seniors can obtain. What constitutes senior citizenry? Who knows? It is rather fluid, some are over 55, some matter to me.

The movie we watched "Solitary Man" starred Michael Douglas, Danny Devito and Susan Sarandon, along with other more youthful actors. This story chronicles the life of a man who "refuses to grow old" but not from a healthy point of view. The man seems "stuck" in a First Chakra world. this world centers on sexual prowess and power issues....and it is evident in the directors cinematography and camera angles that this man is obsessed with remaining a vital player in his society. The sad irony is that Douglas's character refuses to see reality even when faced with boundaries set by his 30 something daughter, and his current main squeeze.

Running away from reality is clearly evident in the denial many of us face when we age. Who wants to admit they are not the same as they were 20 to 40 years hence? Watching Douglas' actions in the film makes older people a bit squirmy as we can see how denying his mortality makes for discomfort in those around him. Who among us feels a bit strange being called a grandparent when in the company of someone younger who has no idea of our status? Clearly this character makes it evident in telling his grandchild to call him "Captain" instead! This man steers himself into choppy waters with his lifestyle, thinking if he disregards his age and health that it is not an issue.

Leaving the theater my friend and I reflect upon our own journey and just how swiftly time passes. Musing over old photos of people long dead and our own offspring as babies brings clarity to our own aging processes. Amidst the pictures of youth and vitality are embedded those eyes of wisdom and acceptance however that help us to understand that the circle of life continues irrespective of our willingness or unwillingness to embrace our own process. For me, there is comfort in knowing this is something others have gone through, making it become a rite of passage more than something to be turn away from.

"'s the wheel of fortune, its the leap of faith, its the band of hope. When we find our way on a path's the circle of life"..... (Elton John)


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    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thanks ladies...! You are both special indeed!

    • profile image

      LeAnn 7 years ago

      You are such a delight, Aley. Your smile is priceless and you are ageless to me. As a friend who has had the opportiunity to play along side you, I feel honored to experience your timeless expressions of Aley.

      Enjoy your writing!

    • profile image

      Sierra Greer 7 years ago

      I'm the friend you spent time with, and I thank you for the precious opportunity to "get old" alongside you.


    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      YAY...another wonderful comment from Nellieanna...and as on!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      I recommend really BEing IN whatever age it is one is IN. I have to admit that the years I liked least were my 30s! But there were factors contributing to that other than my age.

      I was born the second time @ 40, though - so I've had a chance to re-do the 3rd decade since then - in fact I'm still in it for a couple more years. And I don't dread my 80s - my gosh - look at Betty White! Piece of cake! I may do it even better (my figger is better so far.) I'm aiming for at least 100.

      I even started getting gray in my 30s so now it's a choice either way; and since it's become more silver or platinum now than g-r-a-y (not my favorite color per se) - I choose to enjoy it. I've switched all my jewelry to silver and white gold (or begun to enjoy what I had in it and didn't like as much when I was more the golden girl in my coloring - a "spring".)

      Plus, as you say, Suny - no hair coloring routine to worry about. And now almost no other haircare required other than occasionally trimming it with my embroidery scissors, shampooing, putting one curler in my topknot and letting it dry naturally!

      I'd rather spend time staying active in things I really love to do than most anything and being "fully here and now", I can - and do!

      I'm proud to be a great grandmother - and they're not my responsibility besides. Whoopee! LOL

      I definitely recommend letting the years develop and enhance rather than any of the other alternatives!

    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA are priceless Suny!

    • suny51 profile image

      suny51 7 years ago

      Hello professor

      I think I have visited the right place,I was telling my wife only today that being a baldy is lot of fun,no haircut,no coloring even no combing,I shall be reaching their soon at the rate the hair is falling, the only problem is you have to wash a lot of mouth.Very encouraging.Thank you so much.

    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      oh me either! Love being of a "certain" age!!!

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      Well, I can tell you with certainty that I have never once wished that I was younger. I enjoy each year of maturity as it rolls along and look forward to the next :-))

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      I agree that time does seem to go very fast the older I get. This was a nice review of the movies and the tale of friends spending an evening together.