Heroic aging

Ginette Bedard, 81, long distance runner. Photo by Erik Madigan Heck, from the NYTimes.

Ginette Bedard, 81, long distance runner. Photo by Erik Madigan Heck, from the NYTimes.

As I age, I continue to be more fascinated by how others are doing it. I’m turning 56 on Tuesday, so I am not old, but I am definitely  changing – quickly.

I am completely inspired by the many people in my life who are aging with a hero’s heart, including my mother.  She laughs easily and she laughs hard. She is intellectually insatiable. She spends most of her days trying to figure out what nice things she can do for others. She loves a good Scotch Old-Fashioned. She finds beauty everywhere. She’s passionate about the causes she cares about, including women’s rights. She has a simple and lovely sign in her room that she bought during a year-long stay in a skilled nursing facility as she made a recovery from two surgeries. It  reads, “Each Day is a Gift.” She is one of my heroes.

The New York Times did a terrific feature on old folks – in their 80s and 90s – who hit their stride late in life, or who hit their stride earlier and are still at it. Give it a look. Old Masters at the Top of Their Game.  

I was particularly blown away by the following quote from the article:

“You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.” Merlyn to the Young Prince Arthur in T.H. White’s “The Once and Future King”

Who are your heroes of aging?

Please open this post in your browser and share. And, if you have a moment, leave me a comment – even if it’s to wish me a Happy Birthday for God’s Sake! (Insert Smiley Face emoticon here.)




15 responses to “Heroic aging”

  1. avatar erin says:

    Happy Birthday for God’s Sake! xo

  2. avatar Heidi merrick says:

    Aging is tricky….there are days when I embrace it and others where I am
    Grumbling about what I can’t do the way I used too!
    Attitude is everything…

    And I hope you had a great birthday for God’s sake

  3. Thanks Erin! (Smiley face emoticon inserted here, of course.)

  4. Thanks Heidi, I agree. My Mom is showing me attitude is everything, but I often fall short of her example. And, as much as I too grumble, I know I will soon be looking back at 56 and wondering how I ever could have been so impossibly young. As you say, very tricky. Thanks for the birthday wishes for God’s sake!!

  5. avatar Lynne says:

    Hi Lig, and Happy, Happy Birthday in Advance!!!! We will talk about aging over drinks as we have many times before, and no doubt we will come up with answers. Although not as profound as T.H. White. You made me want to reread “The Once and Future King”. Thanks for making me think and smile. XOXOX Lynne

  6. Hi Lynne – Eager to catch up about all things this weekend. So glad we are going to make this journey together. xo

  7. avatar Betsy says:

    Happy birthday, girlfriend… I treasure our friendship… from your friend who is ahead of you in the aging game (if not the graceful part of it)…

  8. I treasure you Betsy.I am counting the days until our next fabulous friendship marathon.

  9. […] written a few posts on this topic in the past, about Heroic Aging, a piece on My Grandmother  and a brief post about my Mom. As time passes, I find myself more […]

  10. I am saving that quote and putting it right by my computer…Thank you thank you thank you and happy birthday. Please tell your mother….I love her!

  11. avatar Renee says:

    Happy Birthday! My heros are my girlfriends, I am so very proud of them and me for not giving in to our age…we will fight it every step of the way. Doing what we want and loving what we do!

  12. Fifty-six is not old!! I would love to look like the 81-year-old in your photo. Chronologically, that’s old, but everything about her is young. Brenda

  13. You are so right, Brenda. The 81-year-old woman is strong, and bold and beautiful. And yes, fifty-six is not old, but things are changing! Thanks so much for stopping by! Ligeia@Trueheartgal

  14. I agree Renee, I have some wonderful girlfriends who inspire me every day. It sounds like you are surrounded by wonderful girlfriends who are keeping you young and happy! Thanks for reading! XO Ligeia@Trueheartgal

  15. Thank you Donna. I will tell my Mom and your comment will bring a huge smile to her face. XO Ligeia@Trueheartgal