The Downside and Upside of Getting Older

For my older son’s wedding, one of his aunts, a professional photographer, put together a slide show of the growing up years of my son and his beautiful bride. They were both such neat kids, and I loved every minute of it.

As the groom’s mom, I appeared in several photos with my then young child. After the presentation, one of the groomsmen, not known for his tact, rushed up to me and said, “Wow, you used to be sorta hot!”

Nothing to do but laugh. Yup, my “sorta hot” days are long gone. I still find myself looking in the mirror and saying, “What the hell happened?”

But there are compensations to this getting older gig. I take things less seriously (okay, maybe not politics or social justice, but the everyday personal stuff). I spend more time laughing, and a lot more time feeling grateful for all those tiny moments of bliss in my life.

Take the other night. Now that my husband’s retired and not getting up at four in the morning, he’s started reading to me in bed, currently Nelson DeMille’s Plum Island. We both love DeMille’s sheer snarkiness. In describing the scene on the island, he writes: “Flocks of Canada geese were strutting around the field, cackling and honking or whatever the hell they do when they’re not crapping.” I giggled, and pretty soon my husband was laughing, and this went on for some time. When he finally resumed reading, I burrowed into him and thought, “This is bliss—this moment. I am so damn lucky.”

The next day, my husband was tending the fire when I said, “You know, I’ve been having these intense moments of gratitude for you and our life together.”

He turned around. “I’ve been having those too!”

I smiled at the man I’ve loved for more than three decades. This was always bliss, I thought. It’s just that now that we’re older, the wonder of it, the awareness of it, seems so much more intense.


  1. Rosetta W. Wood on January 15, 2017 at 5:25 am

    You are always ‘sorta hot” to the one you grow old with, or so I have heard, and the young people need to be reminded that we were all young once and can relate to them, and they need to be reminded that they will be old and they need to be prepared and live their life wisely.

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