Monday, June 05, 2017


Personal Thoughts On Being Old

By Donovan Baldwin

I am 72 years old as of last March. Although I have aged, and felt the effects of aging, I have never really felt old until the last two weeks.

A lot has happened in the last thirty years, a lot happened in the last six years, a lot happened in the last two years. While much of that left me sad, and, in some ways, scarred and bruised, I managed to keep going. I remained pretty much the same guy who had gotten through 21 years in the army, eight years driving a truck across the U.S., and holder of many other jobs.

For half a century, I have written poetry, articles, and, more recently, short comments on social media sites. For most of those 50 years, other than the occasional, "That sounds nice.", I received no real recognition for, or interest in, the things I wrote.

As those years passed, I grew older, but, as I said, not old.

About a year ago, I began to gain some recognition for my poems, thoughts, and comments. I actually began to believe that I had some kind of future, albeit a short one, as a writer/poet. I became excited and began producing more written works.

The best way I can put it is to say that I began to feel young again, and believe I had a future.

Then, one day, I was reminded abruptly of some of the worst things in my past. Metaphorically, physically, psychologically, and emotionally, I came crashing to the ground.

It took me several days to work through all the aspects, but, by the end, I found that I had changed. I was old. Not just physically, in years, but, for the first time in my life, I realized that I could no longer hold on to the image of a younger man which had sustained me.

I realized that I was now the old guy sitting in the rocking chair on the porch, watching the world go by. But, I was no longer a part of that world.

Oh, I still have things to say, and, probably I will not stop writing until I'm dead, or no longer to express myself coherently.

I guess this time comes to all of us, sooner or later. It's not a "bad" time, per se, however, it is a bit of a blow to realize you are not the person you thought you were.

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