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August 18, 2015


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Oh my, I'm right there with you! I haven't had anyone offer me their seat yet, but there are other signs that I'm actually starting to look as old as I am (59). Although I still have very nice people tell me that I don't look like I'm about to turn 60, I no longer have people tell me that I look too young to be retired. I exercise, my weight is good, blood pressure low, and I eat pretty healthily. But, somehow I have recently acquired my mother's arms and neck. I'm sure it won't be much longer until I have well-meaning people offering me their seat. How in the heck did that happen?

Linda Vaughn

Yaaayyy!!! Another blog post and very funny too boot. ;-) Welcome back!


I feel your pain, Sydney!
I went shopping with a friend who is 7 years younger than I, and an acquaintance stopped to say hello....and asked me if she was my daughter!!
Aging... We gotta have a sense of humor about it.
And laughing about it makes us feel better. :0)
Thanks for connecting so well with your readers!


Great blog post!! I think when you feel young, it's hard to believe that you look old to some people. I remember being in my 20's, and I thought that people in their 50's and 60's were "old". And sometimes I catch myself looking at young people now wondering how they see me. I hope they see my young spirit, but in reality they probably see wrinkles, how I walk slowly when getting up from a seat and some flab I wish I didn't have. I guess it's just a fact of life, and it's becoming much more apparent as I get ready to turn 60 next year. But I'm hanging on to my "youthful spirit" despite what anyone thinks...


I feel your pain! Imagine being in a regular college class with all twenty year olds. Seriously, the younger I feel (mostly) the older I am it seems. Most of the time I fit in. Just when I remind myself I'm just middle aged though, I look in the mirror and see that chest and those upper arms-the result of a youth of over doing that sun thing.

I waver between being the girl who wants to couch surf and maybe sleep in her car on the gulf coast, and the one who counts the year to when she'll be eligible for every senior offer ever invented!

Retired Syd

Janis: Don't even get me started on the neck! (For a great read, get Nora Ephron's "I Feel Bad About My Neck." Hilarious!)
Linda: Thank you!
Angela: Ouch! (I'm sure she just looked really young.)
Diane: To think I used to complain in my 20's when everyone used to say that I looked so young. I hated that!
Barb: In that respect I think I was always old--I've always preferred an actual bed. No car camping or couch surfing for me!


Good post Syd. Yeah, 50 is just about where it started happening to me too. But now that I am quickly approaching 70 that was years ago. Wait for phase 3, it happens without warning. As I tell people now I think my warranty expired when I hit 60 and it has been down hill ever since. :) But even still everyday is an adventure. Just a little more docile I guess. Now I really need that seat when someone offers it (ha).


Syd: Hilarious! I've also been noticing that people aren't telling me any more that I'm too young to be retired. But then I'm only in my 50's for another week and a half.
Isn't it wonderful though to not need that offered seat yet? Another thing to be grateful for.

Tom Sightings

Well, in a few years when you get too old for the Upper East Side, you can come along and join us oldsters in the (gasp! horrors!) suburbs!

Retired Syd

Tom: Good try, but my real home is in the suburbs and we're still among the oldest. It's mostly young families! Maybe Florida?
Rose and RJ: Yes, my father-in-law emailed this to me today "The next stage of aging is when someone offers you a seat in the subway and you GLADLY accept. Take it from someone who knows."

Mona McGinnis

Oh, yes, the neck. I remember being at a wedding reception and a fellow in the group asked why we women all wore high necklines. Really, Rick??!! And then there are those times at the store when a young clerk asks if I'm eligible for the seniors' discount. How old do you have to be? And like Maya Angelou said, waiting to see which breast wins the race south first!


Oh yes . . . at some point these past two years I've began to absolutely loath having my photo taken. I mean seriously, what the heck is happening to my face???

I have spent much of my life outdoors enjoying all types of wonderful activities, and while I wouldn't change a thing, I am surely going to pay for it going forward. My solution is to keep my energy high by continuing to engage in all the outdoor activities I love so much. My face may increasingly say 'older' but my energy says 'but still having fun!'


I think this is not so bad. People are nice to you, they offer you places to sit and you still feel young. And how you feel is ultimately all that matters.

Diane C

I was going to suggest that book! I also wanted to suggest another of hers that enjoyed immensely. I couldn't remember the title, so I googled it. OMG, it's "I Remember Nothing" (insert forehead smack here).

I bought a retirement home in Sun City Palm Desert when I was 47. I got a kick out of going there because I was constantly being told I was "too young". Now that I'm officially "old enough", I don't hear that so much any more...

Finally, DH is three years younger than I am. His hair is getting pretty sparse and what's left is completely grey. My hair is still mostly dark, so no one ever believes he's younger. And God love him, he says I still look like my high school senior photo. I'll take my victories, however small, wherever I can get them.

Good to see a new post, Syd. Thanks!

Retired Syd

Diane C: I loved that book too!
Mona: Well at least the neck thing is universal--I'm seeing it on all of my male friends too.
Tamara: I get that--I just made Doug remove a lovely photo with the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and my three chins from Facebook!
GailD: As long as we can keep our sense of humor, I think it will all be fine!


Syd, my experience has been rather different from yours: for the last decade and a half I've looked older than I really am. In part it's because I've been a literal "graybeard" over that time. I realized long ago that I really didn't care so I didn't give it much thought. But now that I'm eligible for the various senior perks, most notably getting my lifetime National Parks senior pass several months ago at Arches NP on my birthday, my age finally matches my appearance. So, I've never once been questioned when I ask for the senior discount on a movie ticket or checking in at at motel. It is what it is.

But what gets me feeling old is watching my young friends age! I've been ensconced in my remote rural community since I early retired here seventeen years ago. And that's a lot of years to watch the children of friends grow up and move away and to see those friends show signs of aging in recent years. If my young friends are getting old, what does that make me?


I feel terrific. But unfortunately, I don't look terrific.
It happens all of a sudden, Syd.
You wake up one morning and BAM!!!!!

You're old.

Happens to all of us, if it's any comfort.

Over our lifespan, we're going to be old for a very long time. Enjoy it.
Because if you're not old, you're dead!

Retired Syd

dpg: I know exactly what you mean about my friends' kids. I feel the same as I did when they were born, how can they be going off to college now?
Cindi: Yep, it beats the alternative.


Syd, one last thing. When I remarried, I married a great guy 7 years younger than me! Thanks to him, I always look younger myself. I love it when people think DH is OLDER than me! Hey, if guys can do it (marry younger women) so can we women!
Lastly, when we vacationed in Milan, Italy in 2007, DH and I took the Italian local trains for the first time. As soon as I boarded, a delightful elderly Italian gentleman, immediately rose and offered me his seat. I said 'grazia' and did not think it was because I was old. I think he offered me his seat out of respect and because I looked so good (and beautiful) Hey! It's all how we think about it. Presentation is key.
No one ever offered me a seat on a NYC subway!
Just a thought!
Have fun. That's what it's all about (provided we don't look in the mirror).

Retired Syd

Cindi: I would like to adopt that theory, except both the people that offered their seats to me were women!


I just had that happen for the first time. It shocked me. I'm 50 and newly retired and trying to figure all this out. Glad I found your blog :)

Jana in So Cal

fred doe

Oh cry me a river. Whaa! I'm getting old. Well at 62 I feel for you but I just can't reach you:) After all it's better than the alternative. For me it's when a young person calls me sir. I just snap back with don't call me sir I worked for a living. And yes I'm collecting that S.S Check and living the life. But at 62 I know " Someday this War will be Over":) You take that how you want. Syd will there come a time in the near future when you fold up your blog with a "goodbye and good luck?

Retired Syd

fred: Every once in awhile I do think of folding up the blog, but then I think of something I want to post. So I doubt it. I enjoy the "conversations" whenever I do get around to posting, as infrequently as that might be . . .

Sally Rader

I hope you do not fold the blog ! I just recently found it and have finished reading it from beginning to end. You have given me much inspiration. I am hoping to "pre-tire" in the next year. I have been reading a variety of blogs over the past 6 months ( Mr Money Mustache, Early Retirement Extreme etc) but I was so excited to stumble onto yours - as you are fairly near my age- I am 55.
Additionally, I am also an only child, my husband's name is Doug & he is a retired CPA, and we have no children, and I lost my mother to cancer when I was 18. Anyway, I feel very close to you after reading your blog. I have never even met any other person my age who is both and only child and does not have children- people feel sorry for me all the time and ask who will take care of me when I am old--LOL-- but, from now on, I will use your line and tell them, "the nice people at the Assisted Living facility- the same ones that will take care of you". I work in physical therapy in a skilled nursing and Assisted living facility and it is very true!. Thanks !!

Retired Syd

Sally: Well see? THAT's exactly why I can't fold up the blog. Messages like yours! Thank you so much for he nice message, and how interesting that we have so many things in common. Sorry to read about your mom, you know I know how that is. Especially for an only child. Thanks again for taking the time to chime in, I really appreciate it.

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