I Don’t Want To Be A Crunchy Old Lady

I’ve noticed my aging peers have started to drift into 3 different camps.

One group I call the Paralyzed Paranoids. These aging (but still youngish) people have come face to face with their mortality. The result of this shock is that every ache and twinge they feel has got to be the thing that will take them out. So, every conversation is an “organ recital.” You have to hear all about their body functions and their doctor visits. Fear has paralyzed them.

Another group are the Kings and Queens of Denial. These people refuse to accept they’re getting older. Oh, they’re aging, everybody can see it but they cling to the trappings of youth like a lifeboat. These are the women who dress like teenagers and the men who make ridiculous attempts with fake hair to try to cover their balding head. I’m embarrassed for them. These are not the people who are legitimately trying to be healthy and active. These are the ones they make memes about.

Then there are the Crunchy Old People. These are the bitter and angry ones who criticize anything new, exalt the good old days and are just plain negative! They’re ticked off that they’re getting old so they’re going to take everyone down with them.

There is a 4th group but the membership is very small. I’ve only met a few true members and they are jewels! I want to be one! These are people who are aging just like everybody else but they realize that no one wants to hear about their aches and pains and body functions or non-functions. One member I know said, “If I wake up in the morning and something hurts then I know I’m alive and that’s better than the alternative.”

They also do their best to understand the new. They don’t alienate all the young people in their lives by telling them that they “never had all this newfangled technology and they did just fine” and all the while forgetting that their 8 track tapes were “newfangled” at one point.

They pay attention and wrestle with what’s going on in the world and try to find ways to make it better. They don’t hide in their cave, shut the door and mumble, “the world’s going to hell in a hand basket.”

They listen and want to grow. It’s true we gain wisdom as we age but they realize they haven’t learned everything. They listen to new ideas and different opinions without getting defensive.

So, I’ve defined 3 not so great camps my aging peers have gravitated to and one elite club that I aspire to.

However, I could really break it down into 2 ways people age: With Fear or With Courage.

Dear Lord, help me not become a crunchy old lady!




What To Do When You Turn 50 (or more)


When I turned 50 I bought the book, “50 Things to Do When You Turn 50” and I’m glad I did!  I didn’t realize how much it would mean to me  to hear suggestions from people in “my tribe!”

Yes, when you turn 50 and from then on out, you’re in a tribe. You’re a member. You get the inside jokes. You get the discounts. You’re automatically welcome at the breakfast table and the early bird dinners.

Becoming a grandparent means you’re an automatic sub-tribe of the over 50 tribe. But that’s another discussion.

Oh, you’ll resist the 50+ tribe. You’ll be embarrassed. You won’t claim your membership. But then slowly you’ll see that you’ll really need your tribe, their wisdom and advice. So, if you’re 50 or even older, get the book.

The writers in the book give you great suggestions on what to do when you turn 50 like: Stop complaining, wear comfortable shoes, take your self back and stop obsessing about your flaws. They also give some very practical advice concerning health and finances.

Inspired by the book, on my 50th birthday, I made a list of 50 things I wanted to do. A bucket list of sorts. Here’s some things that I have accomplished so far – and I’m not done yet!

  • See Paul McCartney, James Taylor and Sting in concert.
  • Get my motorcycle license.
  • Take a pottery class.
  • Get a massage (I had never had one, can you believe it?)

I still need to swim with dolphins and hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail, but I’m working on it!

Really, though, get the book. It is funny and inspiring and it will help you deal with the all the stupid, untrue, dread and hype surrounding turning 50.