Friends,  Gratitude,  Vacation

Don’t Let Anyone Look Down On You Because You Are Old

Do you ever wonder how many years you have left on this earth? I don’t think about it too often, but a couple weeks ago I got older again.

Of all the f-words in the world, this one always felt the most unnerving. I thought 30 sounded like a real adult. I didn’t mind 40. But 50?

Thoughts race and distress creeps.

How did I get here already? Half a century? Does that mean I’m half-expired? I seriously thought getting older would take longer. Oh my gosh, what will the young people think?

My party of pity is interrupted with an inaudible voice: Whoa there, chica. Are you complaining about growing older? What’s the alternative? Would you rather be under dirt and grass? Would that be better than a few wrinkles and creaks?

I shouldn’t complain, but if someone forced me to write a letter to the National Council on Aging, it might sound like this:

Dear Aging, 

I’d like to file a formal complaint regarding the unexpected changes to my aching body and highway of veins. The fine print in your contract appeared finer than my fine lines, and apparently my squinty eyes missed the “stiff joints in cold weather” section.

I always thought my grandpa exaggerated about that, but here we are. 

Honestly, I did not anticipate any of these glitches to surface so quickly—at least not before someone called me Gigi, Mimi, or Abuela. Please advise about your extended warranty sooner rather than later; I’m not sure how much longer I have.


Older Carrie

Fifty? Sheesh. That’s like double arp status. 

I like saying double arp. It rhymes with sharp, which makes me wonder how many people would rather stick a needle in their eye before admitting how old they are. What a stupid painful choice that would be.

Also, “arp” doesn’t sound like a real word if you’re under 50, but it’s kinda fun to say and way less aggressive than “DOUBLE-ARP!” in your face. 


And then this came in the mail, 12 days before my birthday:

Twelve. Days. Early. Wow, arp people. You couldn’t wait until I officially entered the new decade with which I’m almost ready to begin acknowledging is here? I know you haven’t invited me to be on your marketing team, but if you want people to like you, you don’t remind them of a significant birthday before it happens.  

Consider sending a birthday card first. Then a gentle announcement that they’re almost old enough to benefit from your incredible program. Then a card with a free insulated trunk organizer offer.

Idiots. Worst birthday gift ever.

And no, I’m not ready to “activate my card and explore my benefits,” gracias very mucho. Do you seriously think it’s worth getting $2.99 off my dinner if I have to present an old person’s card to a waitress who hasn’t even cut her last few molars yet? You can keep your three bills and I’ll keep my dignity for a few more years months.


If you’re around my age, “Why did I come in this room?” set in years ago. But now it’s less funny. My slightly older husband looks at me and thinks forgetting is normal. My kids look at me like I forget because I’m old. If our dog were still alive she’d follow me back to the room from which my thought was snatched. But she wouldn’t judge; she knew how it felt to wander aimlessly. 

Did I mention I got glasses a few months ago? Two pairs. I’m anti-progressives, so I walked in blurry and walked out with two pairs like a confident woman in denial. Apparently, I have a long-distance and a close-up problem. I’m special.

Just a Number?

If you’ve been a Christian for a minute, you might be familiar with 1 Timothy 4:12. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…” I championed this first part into my 30s, but now I’d like to flip the script. Shout out to all the older people who feel looked down on because of their older age!

Younger people can joke about it, but until you personally feel the effects of age, you don’t get it. I watched my grandparents go from active, to slow, to stationary. I wonder how it felt to be stuck with crippled hands, or in a wheelchair, or in a different brain space.

I wish I could tell all the older humans who don’t feel like they have a purpose anymore that they’re still loved, valuable, wanted, and needed. Age truly doesn’t matter—it’s how you love God and love others that matters. 

The second part of the verse is the challenge to all:

“…but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (NIV)

If I take the verse literally, then I should be setting an example to everyone around me, older and younger. Do I get to be the example now? Learn from the older and help the younger? I think that’s how midlife works, right? 

I don’t have the answers, but it sounds better than a Ferrari and regrets.

As candles multiply on our cakes, so do the collection of memories and stories etched in our laugh lines. I’m learning to embrace them, remembering those we’ve lost in their youth who probably wished they could’ve made it to the wrinkly stage. 

Heaven will obviously be infinitely better than this earth, but while we’re here we might as well embrace the life we’ve been given. Even with muscle cream, fuzzy eyes, and popping veins.

“Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.” 

~ Mark Twain


My husband hit it out of the park when he surprised me with my sister from Washington, a trip to Baja, and friends…

We’re on a boat!
Stretch tribute to Buddy the Elf
Guess what? Ahoy! I sail! I’m a sailor!
All dressed up and somewhere to go
It’s a long story
Yes, I know it’s not ladylike. I took it for my boys and niece. 🙂

This number felt a little rough, but I will always remember my sister’s words about age: “How old are you? Loud and proud, baby!” 

Hi, I’m Carrie, I’m 50, and I am grateful for another year around the sun. Also, I don’t want to discuss medical procedures (yours or mine) for at least another decade.


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  • Mick Silva

    Don’t tell Sheri, but she just hit the big five-oh, and I’m nearly there myself. We don’t go for a lot of fanfare, but you’re right–50 deserves a little extra sauce.

    Thanks for the nudge, my extroverted friend! I hope they tied you to the mast for your terrible, unladylike example.

    • Carrie Talbott

      Sorry about the delay, amigo. I swear I responded to this, but the comments section on my site has been battling pirates, so I wonder if it got deleted.

      Don’t worry – I won’t tell Sheri she’s 50. 🙂 But how exciting that you’re nearly as cool as Sheri and me! It’s about time you caught up.

      Thank God for the extra sauce to make up for the mast tying, right? I always wanted to be like Bob Wylie – finally got my chance in the middle of the Pacific.

  • Ron Vom Steeg

    “Don’t Let Anyone Look Down On You Because You Are Old”…. unless they are sons, grandsons and gracious wife..

    “Age truly doesn’t matter—it’s how you love God and love others that matters”….YEP! Put it on a plaque and nail it on the front door.

    “Kids truly don’t understand age”… neither do us old guys…

    Ha… life is good.. no matter what the ” rocking chair of life” brings.

    Good one Carrie


    • Carrie Talbott

      Heehee… all those tall grandsons! Thanks for reading and stopping by, Ron. You’re a perfect example of an impressive age!

  • Brenda

    Welcome to the club! I like to say, I’m celebrating my 29th anniversary of being 21. This year it was my 30th anniversary. But now THAT sounds kinda old too! Hubby will be celebrating his 50th in 13 days. Yikes! He’s holding out getting the reading glasses. Thanks for sharing your pics and incredible insight. I get it. The good things and not so good things. What a fun way to celebrate 🎉 I love you, friend!


    • Carrie Talbott

      Haha–the older I get the less I’m inclined to do that kind of math. 🙂 Happy to be in your club. Thanks for stopping by, friend. Love ya!

  • Gilbert Mellis

    Carrie, I loved your words. I am glad you wrote again as I was just thinking you hadn’t written for awhile. As I grow older (68), and a fan of Twilight Zone, I occasionally think of one of my favorite episodes “Kick The Can”, where the people from the old folks home go out to play kick the can with the kids and become young again (except for the one who didn’t believe). I then think what that would be like. Despite the various aches and pains, no longer being able to play softball, etc., I realize that I would NOT want to be young again. Benefits of being older? I no longer have homework to do or wonder what college I will go to. I don’t have to think about a career or changing careers. Dating sites are unnecessary as I don’t have to wonder who I will marry and whether it will work out. No changing diapers and fighting over kids doing homework. I have a blessed life and don’t have to worry about all those “young” concerns. Yes, there can be some scary things about growing old, but the above-mentioned things to me were more scary, and if I had the opportunity, I would not play kick the can. I like my life as God has given it to me.

    • Carrie Talbott

      Thank you, Gil. Good insight! You’re right–I probably wouldn’t want to go back either. Maybe to be able to play ultimate frisbee a little better at this point, but whatever. 🙂 The bits of wisdom that come with age help me relax about all the things that don’t matter anymore. Thanks for your comments!


    Less than 5 years ago my answer to, “How does it feel to be old?” was I’ll tell you when I get there. And then, somewhere along the line a huge semi going almost 200 mph hit me. It dumped it’s entire load of “OLD” on me. I scrubbed and scrubbed and absolutely could not get rid of the old but I was able to uncover a load of wisdom. My doctor told me he wanted me to walk 4,000 steps. with four weeks to go I just might make my annual goal!

    • Carrie Talbott

      Haha… very funny, John. That’s exactly how fast my eyes deteriorated. When it hits you it hits you! Hope 2024 allows you more than 4000 steps. 🙂

  • Jennifer Palo

    Carrie, welcome to 50!! So happy you were able to celebrate in a grand way! Loved this humorous and honest share. You are full of life and good insights. May this year be a memorable one for you.

    • Carrie Talbott

      Thank you, friend! Thanks for paving the way for me… and for your kind words. May this year be a memorable one for you as well!

    • Ann Blankers

      Hi Carrie!
      Good words to remember and live by!! Thanks for the laughs and the memories!! So happy to be on this journey with you!
      Here’s to another 50!!

      • Carrie Talbott

        That trip simply wouldn’t have been the same without you, friend. The laughs and memories will definitely last a lifetime… as long as we can keep our brains moving forward. Haha. Thanks for being a great example of a high-quality 50-year-old!

  • Debbie Eady

    Listening to Christmas music in the car. Koda ( my 6 yr old grandson) liked a song that’s played in The Grinch. “That’s my favorite song nanny. Before you die could you write that down? I want to be a teacher when I grow up. I want to tell the kids about that song”
    Before I die?!?! I guess Age is literally in the eye of the beholder 😂

    • Carrie Talbott

      Oh my gosh, Debbie–that’s hilarious. Kids truly don’t understand age. One could think you’re 35, and another could think you’re 80! They’ll learn soon enough 🙂

  • Lenette Lindsey

    Carrie, you are a beautiful 50! I’m still giggling at your words and pictures. And I needed this message packed within the Timothy verse but reversed! Thanks for sharing the gift of words God has given you!