A Harmless Delusion

Backs of senior hikers with binoculars on tripI don’t know about you, but I’m always surprised when I see recent photos of myself. Who is that overweight older woman? It can’t be me …. but oh yes….it is. That’s my dress and that’s how I wear my hair. I didn’t realize I’d gained so much weight.

In my mind, I don’t age and neither do my friends. Those close to me remain, as I do, stuck forever in middle age. I’ve always known that other people age. I just didn’t think it would happen to me or to those close to me.

Recently I’ve been reading others’ memoirs about aging. As a result, I now realize that it’s common to deny one’s aging process. I’m not the only one who believed she was exempt from inevitable changes. Apparently, most people seem oblivious to their own aging until aching joints, glimpses of themselves in a store window or a photo bring home the truth.

Recently I had a revealing experience. I was waiting for a good friend in a restaurant. An hour passed and she still didn’t appear. I had notice2014-07-life-of-pix-free-stock-photos-palma-restaurant-pavement-area-table-chair-cityd a woman sitting at another table with some other old people, but she was old. It wasn’t until I stood up to leave, passed the older woman’s table and heard her voice, that I realized it was my friend. No doubt she’s failed to notice me for the same reason.

Actually, I don’t believe it does any harm to delude myself about my age. It probably works in my favour. I think I live more fully because I pay no attention to what a woman who’s nearly 80 should look like and should be capable of. I need to find out for myself just what I can and can’t do. I do respect my limitations, but I need to find out for myself what they are.

Let me know what you think. Leave your comments below to share with other women dealing with the same issues of aging.


  1. Ruth Thoni says:

    Hi Mary,
    Ruth here……I am a little younger than you, but most likely physically older . Aging for me is bittersweet.
    Mentally I feel I could/can soar , physically I am severely limited. Oesteoarthritis in hip and knee joints
    are painful . Daily walks on the beach with my dogs are no more . Being physical was a big part of my life style. I am on meds for chronic pain due to a neurological condition called cervIcal dystonia. I am a diabetic despite my healthy life style. I am not over weight, look younger than my years (they say) and at times feel left behind. I do Qi Cong yoga, I medItate, I write free prose in three languages and read . My family means the world to me. I live in the same house as Andrea in a separate apt. overlooking the Atlantic. Clive is still in our lives. He is good at being a grandpa. Natasha soon 9, and Alexander
    soon 7, adore him.
    I am grateful nevertheless !

    • admin says:

      Glad to hear how well you’re dealing with your new challenge. Your gratitude and your daily practices sound great.

    • hello Ruth: Somehow I missed your comments earlier. I’m so glad to hear from you – and sorry you’re experiencing health problems. It’s hard to imagine you not being physically strong and active. I remember your wonderful skiing and your disappointment with our Ontario ski hills. You wanted mountains.

  2. vickyvicky says:

    9 days ago,my husband, son, and grandson were victims of a violent, forced, armed[ guns] home invasion. They held guns to our heads, made us lay on the ground, and stole everything, [as a matter of fact, checking out EMDR to deal with the trauma is how I found this blog] This was NOT a random act and I am not sure when and if we will be comfortable with going home. The reason they did not kill us? Because my husband and I are obviously old harmless people. If I looked as youngish as I picture myself to be, I am sure we would be dead. I have by no m3eans processed all that happened, but I do know that looking my age probably saved my life.

    • admin says:

      I would never have imagined looking older would work to one’s advantage.
      EMDR is really essential for your sort of trauma. You might look into Brain Spotting as well.
      I wish you and your family all the best for your healing.

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