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Continuing to live--that is, repeat A habit formed to get necessaries--Is nearly always losing, or going without.

The Master said, "At fifteen I set my heart on learning; at thirty I took my stand; at forty I came to be free from doubts; at fifty I understood the Decree of Heaven; at sixty my ear was attuned; at seventy I followed my heart's desire without overstepping the line."
Approaching, nearing, curious, Thou dim, uncertain spectre--bringest thou life or death? Strength, weakness, blindness, more paralysis and heavier? Or placid skies and sun?
I have been asked what a man over seventy can do to keep occupied. The trouble is, that a man who can't keep busy didn't take interest in a great number of things when he was mentally active in his younger years. If he had done so, he would find plenty to occupy his time in reading, observing and watching people. There are a great many hobbies he can work with and keep busy until his death. . . . . . . Men are not as active at seventy as they were at fifty because they hurt their machinery too much. If they like a certain thing, they will overdo it. They eat too much, or drink too much, or if they like sleeping they will sleep too much.
I can scarcely, nowadays, endure the company of anybody under seventy. Young people compel one to look forward on a life full of effort. Old people permit one to look backward on a life whose effort is over and done with. That is reposeful.
This is the year of my seventieth birthday, a fact that bewilders me. I find it hard to believe. I understand now the look of affront I often saw in my father's face after this age and that I see in the faces of my contemporaries. We are affronted because, whatever we may feel, time has turned us into curiosities in some secondhand shop. We are haunted by the suspicion that the prayers we did not know we were making have been only too blatantly answered.
To realize that I've touched seventy was absolutely devastating. [Very long pause.] I'm disturbed by my concern in undertaking new commitments--as if my time is limited. I never had that feeling before. I don't want to take responsibility for something that I may not be able to complete. It's a very worrisome thing. Being seventy made me angry. Being sixty-nine did not. [Laughs.]
When Rabbi Hanina was eighty years old, he was still able to stand on one foot and remove the shoe from the other. He said: "My strength in old age comes from the frequent warm baths and anointing in oil given my body during infancy."
I am a very foolish fond old man, Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less; And, to deal plainly, I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
By the time a man gets to be eighty he learns that he is compassed by limitations, and that there has been a natural boundary set to his individual powers. As he goes on in life, he begins to doubt his ability to destroy all evil and to reform all abuses, and to suspect that there will be much left to do after he has done.
. . . they who nobly fail will find The peace of the heroic mind, Will taste life's sacred joy, the joy Earth cannot give nor earth destroy. These things I see as the cloud clears, Here at the height of eighty years.
If at eighty you're not a cripple or an invalid, if you have your health, if you still enjoy a good walk, a good meal (with all the trimmings), if you can sleep without first taking a pill, if birds and flowers, mountains and sea still inspire you, you are a most fortunate individual and you should get down on your knees morning and night and thank the good Lord for savin' and keepin' his power.
The new octogenarian feels as strong as ever when he is sitting back in a comfortable chair. He ruminates, he dreams, he remembers. He doesn't want to be disturbed by others. It seems to him that old age is only a costume assumed for those others; the true, the essential self is ageless. In a moment he will rise and go for a ramble in the woods, taking a gun along, or a fishing rod, if it is spring. Then he creaks to his feet, bending forward to keep his balance, and realizes that he will do nothing of the sort. The body and its surroundings have their messages for him, or only one message: "You are old."
Once you reach 80, everyone wants to carry your baggage and help you up the steps. If you forget your name or anybody else's name, or an appointment, or your own telephone number, or promise to be three places at the same time, or can't remember how many grandchildren you have, you need only explain that you are 80.
A man over ninety is a great comfort to all his elderly neighbors: he is a picket-guard at the extreme outpost; and the young folks of sixty and seventy feel that they enemy must get by him before he can come near their camp.
I shouldn't mind . . . living to my hundredth year, like Fontenelle, who never wept nor laughed, never lost his temper; to whom all the science of his day was known, but who all his life adored three things--music, painting and women--about which he said he understood absolutely nothing.
A parrot nears a hundred years (or so the legend goes), So were I he this century I might see to its close. Then I might swing within my ring while revolutions roar, And watch a world to ruin hurled--and find it all a bore.
Turning one hundred was the worst birthday of my life. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Turning 101 was not so bad. Once you're past that century mark, it's just not as shocking.
Other characteristics of healthy centenarians, garnered from a number of studies, are these: Most have high native intelligence, a keen interest in current events, a good memory, and few illnesses. They tend to be early risers, sleeping on average between six and seven hours. Most drink coffee, follow no special diets, but generally prefer diets high in protein, low in fat. There is no uniformity in their drinking habits, but they use less medication in their lifetimes than many old people use in a week. They prefer living in the present, with changes, and are usually religious in the broad sense.
The mystics conceived of the body as an encumbering garment which falls away at death and leaves the true man free to rise into the light of the heavenly life.
To be dead is the same as never to have been born, And better far than living on in wretchedness. The dead feel nothing; evil then can cause no pain.
No one knows whether death is really the greatest blessing a man can have, but they fear it is the greatest curse, as if they knew well.
My ancestors are turned to clay, And many of my mates are gone, My youngers daily drop away, And can I think to 'scape alone? No, no, I know that I must die, And yet my life amend not I.
. . . they say the tongues of dying men Enforce attention like deep harmony. Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain, For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
Though since thy first sad entrance by Just Abel's blood, 'Tis now six thousand years well nigh, And still thy sovereignty holds good: Yet by none art thou understood.
Death in itself is nothing; but we fear, To be we know not what, we know not where.
Vital spark of heav'nly flame! Quit, oh quit this mortal frame: Trembling, hoping, ling'ring, flying, Oh the pain, the bliss of dying!
Life is sweet, let me tell you, and never sweeter than when we are near losing it.
It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire from sight and afterwards return again.
So far as I have observed persons nearing the end of life, the Roman Catholics understand the business of dying better than Protestants. They have an expert by them, armed with spiritual specifics, in which they both, patient and priestly ministrant, place implicit trust. Confession, the Eucharist, Extreme Unction,--these all inspire a confidence which without this symbolism is too apt to be wanting in over-sensitive natures.
God waits only the separation of spirit from flesh to crown us with a full reward. Why, then, should we ever sink overwhelmed with distress, when life is soon over, and death is so certain an entrance to happiness--to glory?
Death is beautiful when seen to be a law, and not an accident--It is as common as life.
We've wholly forgotten how to die. But be sure you do die nevertheless. Do your work, and finish it. If you know how to begin, you will know when to end
Every life, no matter if its hour is rich with love and every moment jewelled with joy, will, at its close, become a tragedy as sad and deep and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof of mystery and death.
Old and young, we are all on our last cruise.
Upon the eyes, the lips, the feet, On all the passages of sense, The atoning oil is spread with sweet Renewal of lost innocence.
Death has been treated too much as a subject for melancholy reflection, or as an occasion for self-discipline, or as a rather hazy theological entity. . . . What we have to do is to see it in its true context, see it as an active reality, as one more phase, in a world and a "becoming" that are those of our own experience.
Hooray for the last grand adventure! I wish I had won, but it was worthwhile anyway.
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
This is the end, the redemption from Wilderness, way for the Wanderer, House sought for All, black handkerchief washed clean by weeping.
What is it about death that bothers me so much? Probably the hours. Melnick says the soul is immortal and lives on after the body drops away, but if my soul exists without my body, I am convinced all my clothes will be loose-fitting.
Being dead is one--the worst, the last--but only one in a series of calamities that afflicts our own and several other species. The list may include, but is not limited to, gingivitis, bowel obstruction, contested divorce, tax audit, spiritual vexation, cash flow problems, political upheaval, and on and on and on some more. There is no shortage of misery.
Let others Sing of Youth and Spring, still will it seem to me The golden time's the olden time, some time round Sixty-five.
I determined that at sixty-five business properly speaking should know me no more. On my sixty-fifth birthday--or, to put it more correctly, on my sixty-sixth--I woke a free man. For my practice had always been a discipline rather than an inclination.
At sixty-five one is not merely twenty years older than one was at forty-five. One has exchanged an indefinite future--and one had a tendency to look upon it as infinite--for a finite future. In earlier days we could see no boundary-mark upon the horizon: now we do see one.
I discovered when I began to look into the whole question of retirement, our society exactly pinpoints the onset of that decline at age sixty-five. No one would presume to date so precisely the onset of childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, and reward--or punish--those who don't arrive or depart on time.
Presents and parties disappear, The cards grow fewer year by year, Till, when one reaches sixty-five, How many care we're still alive?
He may not do what the young men are doing, but he is really doing much greater and better things: great affairs are not accomplished by strength or speed or swiftness of bodies, but by planning, authority, deliberation, things which old age is not deprived of, but which even then increase.
. . . 'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl toward death.
Great men have a dark chimerical prospect of retiring, which their circumstances will seldom permit them to execute, till they are forced to it.
The love of Retirement has, in all ages, adhered closely to those minds which have been most enlarged by knowledge, or elevated by genius. Those who enjoyed every thing generally supposed to confer happiness have been forced to seek it in the shades of privacy.
Nothing is more incumbent on the old, than to know when they shall get out of the way, and relinquish to younger successors the honors they can no longer earn and the duties they can no longer perform.
It was like passing out of Time into Eternity--for it is a sort of Eternity for a man to have his Time all to himself.
When you will have worked hard and faithfully, there will come a day when you will wish to rest, when you will wish to give to her whom you love and whom you will love the more as years pass, your own time, your own self, that you two may go hand in hand into the winter, unafraid and unburdened by cares and sorrows.
I noticed a tendency among many men in business to feel that their lot was hard--they worked against a day when they might retire and live on an income--get out of the strife. Life to them was a battle to be ended as soon as possible. That was another point I could not understand, for as I reasoned, life is not a battle except with our own tendency to sag with the downpull of "getting settled.". . . Life, as I see it, is not a location, but a journey. Even the man who most feels himself "settled" is not settled--he is probably sagging back. Everything is in flux, and was meant to be. Life flows. We may live at the same number of the street, but it is never the same man who lives there.
The argument for retirement is an erroneous one. It assumes that our goal in life is to amass the right amount of wealth so that we can shut down our productivity at a certain age and revel in our material success and free time. . . . We should never abandon the world of work and productivity for a world of inactivity, a world that doesn't challenge us, a world that isolates us from our spiritual quest.
Ages of compulsory retirement are fixed at point varying from 55 to 75, all being equally arbitrary and unscientific. Whatever age has been decreed by accident and custom can be defended by the same argument. Where the retirement age is fixed at 65 the defenders of this system will always have found, by experience, that the mental powers and energy show signs of flagging at the age of 62. This would be a most useful conclusion to have reached had not a different phenomenon been observed in organizations where the age of retirement has been fixed at 60. There, we are told, people are found to lose their grips, in some degree, at the age of 57.
Soon, I think, public-relations offices will find a new word for "retirement." This new word will undoubtedly project the image of continuing activity and participation in life on a person's own terms, rather than the image of rest (white-thatched oldster fishing) that we still have before us today.
Early retirement is . . . sound, to take care of people who, like '51 and '54 vintages, didn't work out.
You can't put off being young until you retire.
It is a time when we can, by default, live a passive and inactive life. But there is a wonderful, if riskier, alternative. We can take advantage of our newfound freedom and embark on new and exciting adventures. We now have time to fulfill some earlier ambitions. If we make a mistake, there are plenty of fallbacks. We need not be too cautious.
We do not actually know how competent and industrious people between seventy and eighty years old can be in our society. In an agricultural economy, when they are healthy, they are able to bear a considerable portion of the necessary workload. Old men and women have continued to perform their customary chores until they were physically unable to do so. They sometimes did so of necessity, but more often they seem to have done so by choice. They not only felt useful and needed but actually were.
Menopause would be celebrated as a positive event, the symbol that men had accumulated enough years of cyclical wisdom to need no more.
In the South of my childhood, no woman could weather the "Change" completely unscathed; it was femininity's Appomattox and you had to milk it for every possible drop of theater.
Menopause--word used as an insult: a menopausal woman, mind or poem as if not to leak regularly or on the caprice of the moon, the collision of egg and sperm, were the curse we first learned to call that blood.
The best gift for making a conscious, disciplined trip through menopause is postmenopausal zest. This is a special, buoyant sort of energy, fueled in part by the change in ratio of testosterone to estrogen. . . . Once a woman has come through the menopausal passage, she can say good-bye to pregnancy fears and monthly mood swings. Now that she is no longer confined by society's narrow definition of woman as sex object and breeder, she is freer to integrate the masculine and feminine aspects of her nature. She can now claim the license to say what she truly thinks.
The central myth is that menopause is a time in a woman's life when she goes batty for a few years--subject to wild rages and deep depressions--and after it she mourns her lost youth and fades into the wood-work. In truth, menopause is a bridge to the most vital and liberated period in a woman's life.
Though there is no public rite of passage for the woman approaching the end of her reproductive years, there is evidence that women devise their own private ways of marking the irrevocability of the change. . . . The climacteric is a time of stock-taking, of spiritual as well as physical change, and it would be a pity to be unconscious of it.
To be precise, the word "menopause" applies to a non-event, the menstrual period that does not happen. It is the invisible Rubicon that a woman cannot know she is crossing until she has crossed it.
Menopause is a time when, if we have not already done so, we should learn to take as good care of ourselves as we do of others. Many women become more self-confident and assertive and less interested in pleasing others. Increasingly, women are writing about the change of life, or menopause, as a time of preparing for later life through emotional and spiritual transformation. . . . . . . Women at midlife may be subject to overtreatment when physicians view the normal changes of menopause as a deficiency disease requiring medication, or they may suffer from undertreatment and misdiagnosis of real symptoms of disease. Some physicians attribute to menopause almost anything reported by women at midlife, overlooking what might be symptoms of gallbladder disease, hypertension, and other serious conditions.
Pregnancy and childbirth are pretty rotten jokes to play on the female, but I cannot help suspecting that the menopause may be nature's last--and most outrageous--grand belly laugh.
Spring still makes spring in the mind, When sixty years are told; Love wakes anew this throbbing heart, And we are never old.
You've got t' be fifty-nine years ole t'believe a feller is at his best at sixty.
Picasso once said, "One starts to get young at the age of sixty, and then it's too late."
It comes as a surprise, even at first almost a feeling of guilt: after a long time of being afraid, of not wanting to think about it, of pretending everything's the same, the delight, the sheer excitement of coming into a new place after sixty, after it's all supposed to be over. And it may not have come easily.
For those of us over sixty, high on the list of gratitude should be that we are still alive! Even if it hurts. Even if we feel thirty-five inside of our heads and can no longer even count the wrinkles.
I'm sixty years of age. That's 16 Celsius.
I spent my second quarter-century Losing what I had learnt at university And refusing to take in what had happened since.
Be glad you're fifty--and That you got there while things were nice, In a world worth looking at twice. So here's wishing you many more years, But not all that many. Cheers!
This turning point of fifty, I had become convinced, ought to form as vital a milestone in a woman's life as graduation, promotion, marriage or the birth of a child. At fifty, I had concluded, a woman might celebrate a rite of passage, a ritual as regularly marched as a confirmation.
Fifty was the end of this long familiar plateau that you enter at 13--you know, the country of the female stereotype. And when I got to 50, which is the edge of this territory--indeed the edge used to be 35, 40, we've pushed it to 50--then it was like falling off a cliff. There was no map. Now it's true that I had been fighting with the map. But you're enmeshed in it either way, whether you're obeying it or fighting with it.
The age of 50 seems to represent a sort of tollgate, beyond which, having chosen the route and the traveling companions, one expects to be on the same road for a long, long time. Thus people who find themselves approaching 50, unattached--either divorced or never married--are particularly prone to playing out a perpetual middlescence.
An attractive woman friend confided that when she turned 50, she felt like one of those park statues that turn green, weather-streaked, and crumbly, the kind that no one, not even the people on the benches right in front of it, notices anymore.
Irreparable physical damage aside, being fifty or sixty is surely no more of a "problem" than being ten, twenty, thirty or forty. However old you are, you're mortal. Isn't that exactly what makes life as interesting, precious, cruel, unjust and altogether extraordinary as it is?
"Fifty is halftime," said Joe Namath when his big birthday rolled around. I appreciate sports metaphors as much as the next guy, but this one won't make the cut. Few fifty-year-olds can expect to play two more full quarters of the game of life.
If someone could guarantee that I'll live to be a healthy, vigorous ninety, I'm not sure I'd have been so upset about turning fifty, but without that assurance I felt vulnerable and pressed for time. Suddenly, death seemed imminent and eminently possible.
It happens in America about eleven thousand times a day now--someone turning 50--far outstripping the casualty rate for hunting accidents and car wrecks combined.
Fifty is not "just another birthday." It is a reluctant milepost on the way to wherever it is we are meant to wind up. It can be approached in only two ways. First, it can be a ball of snakes that conjures up immediate thoughts of mortality and accountability. ("What have I done with my life?") Or, it can be a great excuse to reward yourself for just getting there. ("He who dies with the most toys wins.") I instinctively choose door number two.
The Master said: "Observe what a man has in mind to do when his father is living, and then observe what he does when his father is dead. If, for three years, he makes no changes to his father's ways, he can be said to be a good son."
I have now lost my barrier between me and death; God grant I may live to be as well prepared for it, as I confidently believe her to have been! If the way to Heaven be through piety, truth, justice and charity, she is there.
I imbibed commiseration, remorse, and an unmanly gentleness of mind, which has since ensnared me into ten thousand calamities; and from whence I can reap no advantage, except it be, that, in such a humour as I am now in, I can the better indulge myself in the softnesses of humanity, and enjoy that sweet anxiety which arises from the memory of past afflictions.
With my mother's death all settled happiness, all that was tranquil and reliable, disappeared from my life. There was to be much fun, many pleasures, many stabs of Joy; but no more of the old security. It was sea and islands now; the great continent had sunk like Atlantis.
No one glancing into our car can possibly imagine my grief. In a few hours, people at the funeral will hug me and say how sorry they are, but no one will ever know how it feels for this child to lose this mother. I am alone. My mother is dead. And life has dared to go on without me.
I was forty-two when . . . my mother died and it felt as though I had been left in the world alone. Although I was myself a mother, although I had a husband, two sons, two brothers and many friends, with whom my relations were passionate and often complicated, my relation to my mother was the most passionate and complicated of all. So intense was our bond that I was never sure what belonged to whom, where I ended, and she began.
The widower lives in a darkened world.
My wife, my wife! What wife? I have no wife. O insupportable! O heavy hour! Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse Of sun and moon, and that th' affrighted globe Should yawn at alteration.
From those bright regions of eternal day, Where now thou shin'st amongst thy fellow saints, Array'd in purer light, look down on me! In pleasing visions and delusive dreams. O! sooth my soul, and teach me how to lose thee.
Although he probably was not oftener in the wrong than she was, in the little disagreements which sometimes troubled his married state, during which, he owned to me, that the gloomy irritability of his existence was more painful to him than ever, he might very naturally, after her death, be tenderly disposed to charge himself with slight omissions and offences, the sense of which would give him much uneasiness.
Ay, go to the grave of buried love and meditate! There settle the account with thy conscience for every past benefit unrequited--every past endearment unregarded, of that departed being, who can never, never, never return to be soothed by thy contrition.
I hold it true, whate'er befall; I feel it when I sorrow most; 'Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.
Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me, Saying that now you are not as you were When you had changed from the one who was all to me, But as at first, when our day was fair.
Masses of flowers loaded the cherry branches and color some bushes yellow and some red but the grief in my heart is stronger than they for though they were my joy formerly, today I notice them and turned away forgetting.
There is one place where her absence comes locally home to me, and it is a place I can't avoid. I mean my own body. It had such a different importance while it was the body of H.'s lover. Now it's like an empty house.
Bereavement is not the truncation of married love but one of its regular phases--like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too. If it hurts (and it certainly will) we accept the pains as a necessary part of this phase. . . . We were one flesh. Now that it has been cut in two, we don't want to pretend that it is whole and complete.
Most widows want their loss acknowledged, not glossed over, and the name of their dead husband spoken, not avoided. They would like to tell callers not to bother if they are going to talk about the weather or how terribly funny their new poodle puppy is.
In this country it is more despicable to be married and not fruitful, than it is with us to be fruitful before marriage. They have a notion, that, whenever a woman leaves off bringing children, it is because she is too old for that business, whatever her face says to the contrary, and this opinion makes the ladies here so ready to make proofs of their youth . . . that they do not content themselves with using the natural means, but fly to all sorts of quackeries, to avoid the scandal of being past child-bearing, and often kill themselves by them.
The crisis of the menopause rudely cuts the life of woman in two; the resulting discontinuity is what gives woman the illusion of a "new life"; it is another time that opens before her, so she enters upon it with the fervor of a convert; she is converted to love, to the godly life, to art, to humanity; in these entities she loses herself and magnifies herself.
Menopause Manor is not merely a defensive stronghold. . . . It is a house or household, fully furnished with the necessities of life. In abandoning it, women have narrowed their domain and impoverished their souls. There are things the Old Woman can do, say, and think that the Woman cannot do, say, or think. The Woman has to give up more than her menstrual periods before she can do, say, or think them. She has got to change her life.
"Just wait till we can vote," I said, bursting with 10-year-old fervor, ready to fast, freeze, march and die for peace and freedom as Joan Baez, barefoot, sang "We Shall Overcome." Well, now we can vote, and we're old enough to attend rallies and knock on doors and wave placards, and suddenly it doesn't seem to matter any more.
If you're a child at twenty, you're a jackass at twenty-one.
Long-expected one and twenty Ling'ring year at last is flown; Pomp and Pleasure, Pride and Plenty, Great Sir John, are all your own.
How swift have flown To me thy girlish times, a woman grown Beneath my heedless eyes! in vain I rack My fancy to believe the almanac, That speaks thee Twenty-One.
To justify the festive cup What horrors here are conjured up! What things of bitter bite and sup, Poor wretched Twenty-One's! No landed lumps, but frumps and humps, (Discretion's Days are far from trumps) Domestic discord, dowdies, dumps, Death, dockets, debts, and duns!
The lad who talks at twenty as men should talk at thirty, has seldom much to say worth the hearing when he is forty; and the girl who at eighteen can shine in society with composure, has generally given over shining before she is a full-grown woman.
The youth of twenty-one who has health, hope, ambition, and animation is not to be pitied. Poverty is only for the people who think poverty.
When a man is tired of life at 21 it indicates that he is rather tired of something in himself.
One's life has a natural defining frame. One knows who one is; in childish egotism, one supposes people have a relationship only with oneself. But after the age of twenty, the frame is uncertain, change is hard to pin down, one is less and less sure of who one is, and other egos with their court of adherents invade one's privacy with theirs. One's freedom is inhibited by their natural insistence on themselves.
That's a hell of a good age to be. I wish I was that age again. Because Ben, you'll never be young again.
A man can find contentment only in his first wife.
If a man's wife has died, and she has left him grown-up children, he should not take another wife before he has married off his children.
Marry a widdow before she leave mourning.
A good season for courtship is, when the widow returns from the funeral.
After all this, to marry a widow, a kind of chewed meat! What a fantastical stomach hast thou, that canst not eat of a dish till another man hath cut of it! Who would wash after another, when he might have fresh water enough for asking?
Torments of suspicion will often follow on a second marriage.
Marriage is always bad then [when one chooses the wrong man], first or second. Priority is a poor recommendation in a husband if he has got no other. I would rather have a good second husband than an indifferent first.
Marriage will not content me, nor will single life. . . . I have tried both, and I cannot recommend either. It is a choice between two evils, and one does not know to say which is the least.
When the bride is a widow and the groom is a widower; when the former has lived in Our Great Little Town for hardly two years, and the latter for hardly a month; when Monsieur wants to get the whole damned thing over with as quickly as possible, and Madam gives in with a tolerant smile; then, my reader, the wedding is generally a "quiet affair." The bride may dispense with a tiara of orange blossoms securing her finger-tip veil, nor does she carry a white orchid in a prayer book.
We were married as soon as a twelvemonth and a day had passed from the death of the second Mrs. Balwhidder; and neither of us have had occasion to rue the bargain. It is, however, but a piece of justice due to my second wife to say, that this was not a little owing to her good management; for she had left such a well plenished house, that her successor said, we had nothing to do but to contribute to one another's happiness.
It has . . . been asserted, by some naturalists, that men do not attain their full growth and strength till thirty; but that women arrive at maturity by twenty. I apprehend that they reason on false ground, led astray by the male prejudice, which deems beauty the perfection of woman . . . whilst male beauty is allowed to have some connection with the mind. Strength of body, and that character of countenance, which the French term a physionomie, women do not acquire before thirty, any more than men. The little artless tricks of children, it is true, are particularly pleasing and attractive; yet, when the pretty freshness of youth is worn off, these artless graces become studied airs, and disgust every person of taste.
After thirty a man wakes up sad every morning excepting perhaps five or six until the day of his death.
In America, Newman reflected, lads of twenty-five and thirty have old heads and young hearts, or at least young morals; here [in Europe] they have young heads and very aged hearts, morals the most grizzled and wrinkled.
The age of thirty is, for the workingman, just the beginning of a period of some stability, and as such one feels young and full of energy. But, at the same time, a period of life has passed, which makes one melancholy, thinking that some things will never come back.
I have never admitted that I am more than twenty-nine, or thirty at the most. Twenty-nine when there are pink shades, thirty when there are not.
One's thirtieth birthday and one's seventieth are days that press their message home with iron hand. With his seventieth milestone past, a man feels that his work is done, and dim voices call to him from across the Unseen. His work is done, and so illy, compared with what he had wished and expected! But the impressions made upon his heart by the day are no deeper than those his thirtieth birthday inspires. At thirty, youth, with all it palliates and excuses, is gone forever. The time for mere fooling is past; the young avoid you, or else look up to you and tempt you to grow reminiscent. You are a man and must give an account of yourself.
Thirty-one or fifty-one is much the same for a woman who has made up her mind to live alone and work steadily for a definite object.
Is your own character, at thirty, the same as it was when you were ten years younger? It will be better or worse in the measure that you have believed that disloyalty, wickedness, hatred and falsehood have triumphed in life, or goodness, and truth, and love.
people in their thirties, and the older ones, have gotten bad inside, like fruit that nobody eats and nobody wants, so it rots, but is not forgotten.
Miranda in Miranda's sight Is old and gray and dirty; Twenty-nine she was last night; This morning she is thirty.
It was my thirtieth Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon Though the town below lay leaved with October blood. O may my heart's truth Still be sung On this high hill in a year's turning.
I believe that as many women over thirty marry out of fear of being alone someday--not necessarily now but some day--as for love of or compatibility with a particular man. The plan seems to be to get someone while the getting's good and by the time you lose your looks he'll be too securely glued to you to get away. Isn't it silly? A man can leave a woman at fifty (though it may cost him some dough) as surely as you can leave dishes in the sink. . . . Then you have it all to do over again as if you hadn't gobbled him up in girlish haste.
I am only thirty. And like the cat I have nine times to die.
Impatient with devoting ourselves to the "shoulds," a new vitality springs from within as we approach 30. Men and women alike speak of feeling too narrow and restricted. They blame all sorts of things, but what the restrictions boil down to are the outgrowth of career and personal choices of the twenties. They may have been choices perfectly suited to that stage. But now the fit feels different. Some inner aspect that was left out is striving to be taken into account. Important new choices must be made, and commitments altered or deepened. The work involves great change, turmoil, and often crisis--a simultaneous feeling of rock bottom and the urge to bust out.
Looking at ourselves in cold, hard evolutionary terms, we are all relatively useless after 30. All a species needs to survive is to reproduce itself, which is easily possible at the age of 15, and fifteen years more to raise the next generation to reproductive age. Certainly by 40, when both the male testes and the female ovaries begin to show the changes of age, we are, from an evolutionary point of view, thoroughly disposable.
I remember the day I turned thirty. I was getting out of the shower and I stood in front of the mirror and stared at myself for a long time. I examined every inch of my body and appreciated the fact that I finally looked like a grown woman. I also assumed that this was how I was going to look for the rest of my life. The way I saw it, I was never going to age ; I'd just look up one day and be old.
Food is better for a man up to the age of forty; after forty drink is better.
When Nature first created man, monkey, and bull, she endowed the man with forty years of life, the monkey with forty, and the bull with twenty. The man wanted more, and the monkey and the bull volunteered to help him out. "Twenty's enough for me," said the monkey. "Man can have my other twenty." "And I'll give him ten of mine," said the bull. And thus it came about that man's life runs to seventy years, on the average, and is divided into these three periods: first forty years, normal living; next twenty, monkey business; last ten, shooting the bull.
When forty winters shall besiege thy brow, And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field, Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now, Will be a tattered weed, of small worth held.
I am resolved to grow fat, and look young till forty, and then slip out of the world, with the first wrinkle, and the reputation of five-and-twenty.
A woman, till five and thirty, is only looked upon as a raw girl, and can possibly make no noise in the world till about forty. I don't know what your ladyship may think of this matter, but 'tis a considerable comfort to me to know there is upon earth such a paradise for old women, and I am content to be insignificant at present, in the design of returning when I am fit to appear nowhere else.
The true period of human existence may be reasonably estimated as forty years.

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