Spunky Old Broads Month

 

February is the month to remind ourselves that just because we might be old enough to join AARP, we don’t need to fade into the woodwork but can get out there and live life to the fullest. Celebrate with me Spunky Old Broads Month. There are many ways to approach this, including the poem called “Warning,” but more often known by its first line: “When I Am an Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple.” (see the full poem below, below in the quotes) This poem was part of the impetus behind the Red Hat Society, a group for older women to connect and have fun. You can also check out the book entitled Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History, written by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, a Harvard professor.

But what I want to feature today is a reclaiming of the term “crone.” It has fallen into disrepute, and if you look up the definition in the dictionary, it will talk about mean spirited old women. Originally, however, crone was merely part of the trilogy which described a woman’s life: maiden, mother, crone. A crone is a woman past childbearing years, who is wise in the ways of the world, and ready to share that wisdom with her younger sisters. As it is put on Crones Council page, “A Crone is a woman concerned with housing, social security, pensions, healthcare, her relationships with children, grandchildren, and siblings. A Crone is a retired woman, a soon-to-be retired woman, a widow, an empty nester who desires good health, energetic living, and independence. A Crone is a woman who is adapting constructively, often gracefully, to the process of aging. A Crone is a woman who is comfortable with her spiritual self, her intuition, and her creative power.”

This sounds like a good way to live!

2oldladies

Quotes about aging

Warning by Jenny Joseph
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate. I grow more intense as I age.–Florida Scott-Maxwell

As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, do it!–Margaret Deland

The hard thing when you get old is to keep your horizons open. The first part of your life everything is in front of you, all your potential and promise. But over the years, you make decisions; you carve yourself into a given shape. Then the challenge is to keep discovering the green growing edge.—-Howard Thurman

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National Senior Citizens Day

National Senior Citizens Day was first declared to be August 21 in 1988 by Ronald Reagan. The proclamation read in part, “For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.”

I must admit I feel a little ambivalent about this. As someone who is officially in that category, I’m glad to be treated nicely at any time, but I don’t feel the need to set aside a special day for that. It makes me feel old! When I think of people to be nice to on Senior Citizens Day, I think of my 91-year-old mother in assisted living. I’m still dreaming and writing and baking and gardening and doing most of what I did twenty or thirty years ago – a bit slower, perhaps, but I don’t feel old, at least not most of the time. I guess it’s true what a wonderful older woman said to me once: “I don’t know how old old is, but it’s older than I am!”

While part of me is beginning to accept the mantel of “crone” (not derogatorily, but as in the three ages of a woman – maiden, mother, crone) I’m not ready to hang up my walking shoes or sit in the sunshine just yet.

So be kind to us older folks today, but don’t treat us as washed up!

National-Senior-Citizens-Day

Quotes about aging

Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.–Jim Fiebig

Age has extremely little to do with anything that matters. The difference between one age and other is, as a rule, enormously exaggerated.–Rose McCaulay

Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate. I grow more intense as I age.–Florida Scott-Maxwell

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether this happens at twenty or eight. Anyone who keeps on learning not only remains young, but becomes constantly more valuable regardless of physical capacity.–Harvey Ullman

The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts and we grow happier as we grow older.–William Lyon Phelps

A friend of Oliver Wendell Holmes asked him why he had taken up the study of Greek at the age of ninety-four. Holmes replied, “Well, my good sir, it’s now or never.”

The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.–Madeleine L’Engle

The hard thing when you get old is to keep your horizons open. The first part of your life everything is in front of you, all your potential and promise. But over the years, you make decisions; you carve yourself into a given shape. Then the challenge is to keep discovering the green growing edge.—-Howard Thurman

I suppose real old age begins when one looks backward rather than forward.–Mary Sarton

In my old age there is a coming into flower. My body wanes; my mind waxes.–Victor Hugo

It annoys me when people say “Even if you’re old, you can be young at heart!” Hiding inside this well-meaning phrase is a deep cultural assumption that old is bad and young is good. What’s wrong with being old at heart, I’d like to know? Wouldn’t you like to be loved by people whose hearts have practiced loving for a long time?– Susan Moon

Find more than 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list, as well as quotation related merchandise, at http://www.quotelady.com.