What is “Old”?

What is Old? That is a question for the ages. I can tell you what’s NOT old pretty easily. Not old is someone who has only been on the Earth a few years. Not old is a baby. Not old is a high schooler. Not old is….everyone.

We, as a society, had to assign words to describe things. We know a pencil is a pencil because that’s the word we chose to describe well….a pencil.

We also chose the word “old” to describe something. That word, however, doesn’t have as cut and dried of a meaning as words like “pencil”. “Pencil” is a solid, clear and instantly descriptive word.


Yup. that’s a pencil. No doubt about it!

But, tell me, what one of these pictures is the definitive definition of “old”?

The women in the pictures above range in age from 41 to 77 Years old. Are any of THEM “old” by our definition? The “oldest” one, the 77 year-old, is the African-American woman who’s flexing. Her name is Ernestine Shepherd and she is a world class body builder.

There have been many blogs, tweets and Facebook statuses about people being “labeled”. Especially now, in our current political climate. But the word “old” remains unscathed by the current opposition to labels. “He’s too old for her” “She’s too old to dress like that” “He’s an old man trying to recapture his youth” are all phrases that I have heard and that were accepted as just something people say.

Well, I oppose THAT. By definition, I am considered “old”. I’m 56. And yet, I feel better than I felt when I was 18. “Old” has obtained a negative connotation. It’s definition, from the Webster dictionary:


“Dating from the remote past”??!! Well, that escalated quickly! I do, however, like that one definition: “Distinguished from an object of the same kind by being of an earlier date”.

We’re ALL “the same kind”. I am distinguished from my 33 year-old best friend because I am from an earlier date? Nah. I am distinguished from her because I have different experiences, because I have a different belief system, because I have different views on some things. Not because I’ve been defined as “old” and she has not. “Old”, by the generally accepted view, means more like “Aging, getting broken down, wearing out.”

I ain’t old. If you’re reading this and you’re 100 in calendar years, you ain’t old, either. You, me, we, have all lived a certain number of years. Years that have been defined by a calendar, that was invented by someone, that may have been “on in years”. Then the invention of language brought us “old” and that was defined by someone.

Be defined ONLY by what YOU feel and want and you will NEVER be “old”.


Next Blog: Supplements, Vitamins, Shakes, Oh My! – Coming February 12th

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