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Quotations About Old Age

Updated on October 19, 2016
Colleen Swan profile image

A lover of the written word Colleen has a Master's degree in English literature and enjoys finding unique and poignant quotes

Suffering to The End

Marie Kevin
Marie Kevin | Source

Growing Up With an Old Heart

I had thought that growing up’s consolation was that you could escape from the arbitrariness of things, that somehow one acquired more control. Now you had two numbers until you were ninety-nine. And it wasn't true. Growing up was just more of the same but taller. What happened was all luck. There was no logic. Janice Galloway

Can my old heart once more pound to those desires left to burn in youth; am I too old for love? Clayton T Grant

What is so wrong with getting old? As we have ceased to value the contributions older people make to society, so we see the aging body as grotesque. …Youth is paraded as the ideal and we have become obsessed with how we look. It’s so undignified. Give me herbal tea over liposuction, any day. Max Pemberton

As we grow old, our sense of the value of time becomes vivid. Nothing else indeed, seems of any consequence. William Hazlitt

I am getting very non-locomotive, something like an old cabinet which looks well enough in its corner, but will scarcely bear wheeling about, even to be dusted. Sir Walter Scott

My fate is to hear only the name of happiness; patience, time is passing and youth with it; perhaps in my old years shall I then enjoy more than in my young years. Princess Mathilde De Montfort

When he got to be 29 years old, Joanne Woodward said of her husband Paul Newman “then he stayed 29 years old year after year after year, while I got older and older and older.”

Time Passing is a Bad Habit

Andre Maurois
Andre Maurois | Source

Wisdom and Forgetfulness

If youth is the season of hope, it is often so only in the sense that our elders are hopeful about us; for no age is so apt as youth to think its emotions, partings and resolves are the last of their kind. George Eliot

The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything. Oscar Wilde

But age doth not rectify, but incurvate our natures, turning bad dispositions into worse habits. Sir Thomas Browne

Youth which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing; age which forgives itself is forgiven nothing. George Bernard Shaw

He that would pass the latter part of life with honor and decency must, when he is young, consider that he shall one day be old; and remember, when he is old, that he has once been young. Samuel Johnson

Everyone believes in his youth that the world really began with him, and that all merely exists for his sake. Goethe

Until we Meet Again

Shake hands for ever, cancel all our vows,
And when we meet at any time again,
Be it not seen in either of our brows
That we one jot of former love retain. Michael Drayton

We Look Back on Our Foolishness

The excesses of our youths are drafts upon our old age, payable with interest, about thirty years after date. Charles Caleb Colton

The young are permanently in a state of intoxication; for youth is sweet and they are growing. Aristotle

More credit may be thrown down in a moment, than can be built in an age. Thomas Fuller

Old age, though despised, is coveted by all men. Thomas Fuller

Jesus said to Peter: "When you were young, you went where you would, but when you are old, you will go where you are taken. John 21:15-19

Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth. J. K. Rowling

Avoiding the Fear of Worry

Medical science has shown that a healthy, regular amount of sleep is a vital part in maintaining over-all strength, and may be a fruitful support to longevity. Conversely, stress increases production of cortisol, a brain chemical which may add to depression.

According to exercise physiologist Bob Greene in his book Twenty Years Younger, a man 90 years old was asked to what he attributed his longevity. “I reckon,” he said, with a twinkle in his eye, “it’s because most nights I went to bed and slept when I should have been worrying.”

Sweet Memories

From the musical Fiddler on the Roof
From the musical Fiddler on the Roof | Source

Growing Old One Way or Another

At a certain point in women’s lives, they must decide between retaining a lovely face or an alluring figure. If a woman wishes to keep her face looking soft, it means the sacrifice of a slender figure. Conversely, the keeping of a lithe figure often means facial gauntness. Marcel Proust

Some of us, regarding the ocean with understanding and affection, have seen it looking old, as if the immemorial ages had been stirred up from the undisturbed bottom of ooze. For it is a gale of wind that makes the sea look old. Joseph Conrad

The man who has lived the longest is not he who spent the greatest number of years, but he who has had the greatest sensibility of life. Rousseau

Age and wedlock bring a man to his nightcap. Thomas Fuller

When Winston Churchill’s mother, in her early 40 s, decided to found a quarterly review, Winston wrote to her with the oblivious condescension of youth: “You will have an interest and occupation in life which will make up for all the silly social amusements you will cease to shine in as time goes on, and which will give you, at the latter part of your life, as fine a position in the world of taste and thought as formerly and now, in that of elegance and beauty.” Anne Sebba

We Ought Not to Look Old

Old people are a kind of monsters to little folks; mild manifestations of the terrible, it may be, but still, with their white locks and ridged and grooved features, which those horrid little eyes exhaust of their details like so many microscopes, not exactly what human beings ought to be. Oliver Wendell Holmes

Don't Take Life for Granted

If we didn't live adventurously plucking the wild goat by the beard, and trembling over precipices, we should never be depressed. I've no doubt; but already should be faded, fatalistic and aged. Virginia Woolf

In her memoir, If You Ask Me, and Of Course You Won't, eighty-nine-year-old actress Betty White relates: As the years add up, I am so grateful for the good health I have been blessed with, and I don’t ever take it for granted for a second. I make it a point to never let my weight vary more than five pounds in either direction. I wear glasses to read or to drive. I have a two-level house and a bad memory, so all those trips up and downstairs take care of my exercise. … As to my hair, I have no idea what color it really is, and I never intend to find out.

Born to be The Best of Old

Rabbi Ben Ezra by Robert Browning
Rabbi Ben Ezra by Robert Browning | Source

For the Aged Everything Takes a Little Longer

Middle-age has its compensations. You feel no need to do what you do not like. You are no longer ashamed of yourself; you are reconciled to being what you are, and you do not much mind what people think of you. Selina Hastings

Perhaps one has to live to be very old before one can learn to be amused rather than offended. Pearl S. Buck

If a man lives to any considerable age, it cannot be denied that he laments his imprudence, but I notice he often laments his youth a deal more bitterly and with a more genuine intonation. Robert Louis Stevenson

The real dread of men is not the devil, but old age. John Kirk

If you question any candid person who is no longer young, he is very likely to tell you that, having tasted life in this world, he has no wish to begin again as a new-boy in another. Bertrand Russell

I notice that my energy levels are nowhere near what they used to be. The enthusiasm for life remains, as does the ambition, drive and determination. And now that I've been around for a while I can bring some experience to bear on any situation. But I've got to admit I can't keep up with all the young whippersnappers that populate the TV corridors I pace. Jeremy Kyle

What's sowed in youth will be reaped in age. Thomas Fuller

There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is not respect for age. I missed it coming and going. J. B. Priestley

John Lyly
John Lyly | Source

Be Good And You Will Be Cherished in Old Age

If youth but knew what age would crave, it would ever get and ever save. Thomas Fuller

When young we are faithful to individuals, when older we grow more loyal to situations and characters. Cyril Connolly

The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of fifty you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth. Marya Mannes

Women are as old as they feel, and men are old when they lose their feelings. Mae West

I've heard it said that as we grow older we become a wiser child. Maggie Trump

The passing years steal from us one thing after another. Horace

The Lord saves us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms. Mark Twain

Film icon Ava Gardner, when discussing the process of growing old, said to her biographer, “Who would have thought the highlight of my day would become walking the dog?”

Seeking Our Last Respects

To the old our mouths are always partly closed; we must swallow our obvious retorts and listen. They sit above our heads, on life’s raised dais, and appeal at once to our respect and pity. Robert Louis Stevenson

The Spirit of Youth Deceives Us

There is a case for keeping wrinkles. They are the long-service stripes earned in the hard campaign of life. Unknown

For all the compasses in the world, there’s only one direction, and time is its only measure. Tom Stoppard

Whoever, in middle age, attempts to realize the wishes and hopes of his early youth, invariable deceives himself. Goethe

When one is reminded of someone else whenever one meets someone new one should realize one is growing old. Jerome Castle

If one could recover the uncompromising spirit of one’s youth, one’s greatest indignation would be for what one has become. Andre Gide

Even when things go well, they're still going poorly. If nothing else, because we grow old. Ugo Betti

My Age My Dignity

Dignity, high station, or great riches, are in some sort necessary to old men, in order to keep the younger at a distance, who are otherwise too apt to insult them upon the score of their age. Jonathan Swift

If you could travel back in time, who is one person you would like to meet?

See results

We Can Still Dream of Yesteryear

The only sense that is common, in the long run, is the sense of change, and we all instinctively avoid it, and object to the passage of time, and would rather have none of it. E. B. White

A star is born in my every dream, and dies when I awake. Emily Manning

The past is a foreign country; people do things differently there. L.P. Hartley

Alas! it is not till time, with reckless hand, has torn out half the leaves from the Book of Human Life to light the fires of passion with from day to day, that man begins to see that the leaves which remain are few in number. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Concluding on a Lighter Note

  • Old age is always fifteen years older than I am.
  • Old age is the most unexpected of things that can happen to a man.
  • Youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, old age regret.
  • I ran into an old classmate the other day and she has aged so much that she didn't recognize me.
  • Basically my wife was immature. I’d be at home in the bath and she’d come in and sink my boats.
  • You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.
  • Why was I born if it wasn't forever?

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    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 3 years ago from New Zealand

      A great list of quotes. Many here that I hadn't seen before. I especially liked the LP Hartley one near the end.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you Tom. I enjoy searching for quotes and interesting extracts that have not been seen before.

    • rebelogilbert profile image

      Gilbert Arevalo 3 years ago from Hacienda Heights, California

      You picked out a nice variety of quotes from different popular people, Colleen. I'll take with me the few positive comments for all they are worth.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you Gilbert. Variety is the spice of life.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Agree with Mr. Pemberton, herbal tea is far preferable to liposuction, which to my mind is downright barbaric. Always interesting to read what other people think about life. Voted up!

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you Aufait for looking in. I agree. I've watched some tele programs about cosmetic surgery gone wrong. Frightening.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      A great list of quotes. I particularly enjoyed "The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything"- Oscar Wilde. I'll take old age over the alternative any day.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 3 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you Flourish, Your comments are much appreciated.

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