“I dig old books.”
Quotations about Age
My son, we ought to lay up a stock of absurd enthusiasms in our youth, or else we shall reach the end of our journey with an empty heart, for we lose a great many on our way. ~Victor Cherbuliez, Samuel Brohl and Partner, 1877, translated from French (translator unspecified)
Time, that sad destroyer of youth's airy castles, seemed to have passed over them with a charmed wing. ~Edward Parmele, "A Leaf from Indian Island," 1840
[S]tudy and obey those natural and moral laws whose observance will prolong our days and keep us young in heart and intellect long after the hair is silvered by the touch of time. ~W.J. Hunter, "How to Keep Young," Health Magazine, October 1899
The dreams of our early morning
Like the dew had passed away;
Our skies of gold and crimson
Had turned to cloud and gray.
In the years that lay before us,
Half seen through the distant haze,
The winters grew drearily longer
And briefer the summer days.
~Edith Palmer, "October Violets," c.1872
The years teach much which the days never knew. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair. ~Sam Ewing
[A] youthful old age is the rich and mellow autumn of life... the mind is ripe in wisdom... the intellect is still active and vigorous... spiritual character has reached its full terrestrial maturity of virtue. ~W.J. Hunter, "How to Keep Young," Health Magazine, October 1899
Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children. ~George Bernard Shaw
There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. ~John Mortimer
Growing old isn't so bad when you consider the alternative. ~Author unknown
Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. ~Author Unknown
A man's age is something impressive, it sums up his life: maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves. A man's age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell
A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. ~John Barrymore
How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were? ~Satchel Paige
Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time of your life it may occur. ~Muriel Spark
Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow's hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life. ~Charles Dickens
The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left. ~Jerry M. Wright
When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not; but my faculties are decaying, now, & soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the latter. It is sad to go to pieces like this, but we all have to do it. ~Mark Twain [Also, "When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened."
Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle. ~Bob Hope
Years ago we discovered the exact point, the dead center of middle age. It occurs when you are too young to take up golf and too old to rush to the net. ~Franklin Adams
Everyone is the age of their heart. ~Guatemalan Proverb
There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt. ~Author Unknown
Youth is a disease from which we all recover. ~Dorothy Fulheim
There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age — I missed it coming and going. ~J.B. Priestly
I still have a full deck; I just shuffle slower now. ~Author Unknown
Age is a high price to pay for maturity. ~Tom Stoppard
By the time I have money to burn, my fire will have burnt out. ~Author Unknown
There is more felicity on the far side of baldness than young men can possibly imagine. ~Logan Pearsall Smith
We are young only once, after that we need some other excuse. ~Author Unknown
The key to successful aging is to pay as little attention to it as possible. ~Judith Regan
The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half consists of the chance without the capacity. ~Mark Twain, letter to Edward Dimmit, 1901 July 19th
It's sad to grow old, but nice to ripen. ~Brigitte Bardot
It's like this. Father Time keeps pitching the years at us. We swing and miss at a few. We hit a few out of the park. We try not to take any called strikes. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Grow old with me! The best is yet to be. ~Robert Browning
And never say you are too old. You do not say it now, perhaps; but by and by, when the hair grows gray and the eyes grow dim and the young despair comes to curse the old age, you will say: "It is too late for me." Never too late! Never too old! How old are you—thirty, fifty, eighty? What is that in immortality? ~Lyman Abbott, "Out of the Past," sermon preached in Appleton Chapel, Harvard College, Sunday evening, March 26, 1899
Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life. ~Herbert Asquith
Old age is fifteen years older than I am. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
I advise you to go on living solely to enrage those who are paying your annuities. It is the only pleasure I have left. ~Voltaire
There's no such thing as too late. That's why they invented death. ~From the movie Out to Sea
I was wrong to grow older. Pity. I was so happy as a child. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière
Age is opportunity no less,
Than youth itself, though in another dress,
And as the evening twilight fades away,
The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Morituri Salutamus
The soul's dark cottage, battered and decayed,
Lets in new light through chinks that time hath made.
There is still no cure for the common birthday. ~John Glenn
Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty — they merely move it from their faces into their hearts. ~Martin Buxbaum
I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that. ~Lauren Bacall
Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a grandmother. ~G. Norman Collie
You can't hide your true colors as you approach the autumn of your life. ~Author Unknown
I don't believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates. ~T.S. Eliot
Whatever poet, orator, or sage may say of it, old age is still old age. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It's important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle. ~Author Unknown
There is no old age. There is, as there always was, just you. ~Carol Grace
When I can look Life in the eyes,
Grown calm and very coldly wise,
Life will have given me the Truth,
And taken in exchange — my youth.
Who does not wish to be beautiful, and clever, and rich, and to have back, in old age, the time spent trying to be any of them. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. ~Henry David Thoreau
I recently had my annual physical examination, which I get once every seven years, and when the nurse weighed me, I was shocked to discover how much stronger the Earth's gravitational pull has become since 1990. ~Dave Barry
Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read. ~Quoted by Francis Bacon, Apothegm
Few people know how to be old. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault (1613–1680)
To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living. ~Henri Amiel
We've put more effort into helping folks reach old age than into helping them enjoy it. ~Frank A. Clark
First you forget names, then you forget faces, then you forget to pull your zipper up, then you forget to pull your zipper down. ~Leo Rosenberg
The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young. ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
It is possible at any age to discover a lifelong desire you never knew you had. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day. ~Marty Bucella
Give me chastity and continence, but not yet. ~Saint Aurelius Augustine
Regrets are the natural property of grey hairs. ~Charles Dickens
You know you've reached middle age when a doctor, not a policeman, tells you to slow down, all you exercise are your prerogatives and it takes you longer to rest than to get tired. ~Author Unknown
We grow gray in our spirit long before we grow gray in our hair. ~Charles Lamb
It is autumn; not without
But within me is the cold.
Youth and spring are all about;
It is I that have grown old.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Autumn Within"
Life is one long process of getting tired. ~Samuel Butler, Notebooks
Don't worry about avoiding temptation — as you grow older, it starts avoiding you. ~Author Unknown
Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that happen to a man. ~Leon Trotsky (Lev Davidovich Bronstein), Diary in Exile, 1935
What this country needs is radicals who will stay that way regardless of the creeping years. ~John Fischer
Everything slows down with age, except the time it takes cake and ice cream to reach your hips. ~John M. Wagner ("Maxine")
A person is always startled when he hears himself seriously called an old man for the first time. ~Oliver W. Holmes, Sr.
Old Time, who changes all below,
To wean men gently for the grave.
~Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton
Morality comes with the sad wisdom of age, when the sense of curiosity has withered. ~Graham Greene
When you're a young man, Macbeth is a character part. When you're older, it's a straight part. ~Laurence Olivier
As a graduate of the Zsa Zsa Gabor School of Creative mathematics, I honestly do not know how old I am. ~Erma Bombeck
You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely. ~Ogden Nash
They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body. ~Author Unknown
The other day a man asked me what I thought was the best time of life. "Why," I answered without a thought, "now." ~David Grayson
Like a lot of fellows around here, I have a furniture problem. My chest has fallen into my drawers. ~Billy Casper, about golf's Senior Tour
Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act. ~Truman Capote
Never use the passing years as an excuse for old age. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician. ~Author Unknown
Beautiful is old age—beautiful as the slow-dropping mellow autumn of a rich glorious summer. In the old man, Nature has fulfilled her work; she loads him with blessings; she fills him with the fruits of a well-spent life; and, surrounded by his children and his children's children, she rocks him softly away to a grave, to which he is followed with blessings. God forbid we should not call it beautiful. ~J.A. Froude
We try to achieve beauty by covering up all traces of age and end up looking like we tried to achieve youth by covering up all traces of beauty. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
A man is not old as long as he is seeking something. ~Jean Rostand
The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been. ~Madeleine L'Engle
One evil in old age is, that as your time is come, you think every little illness is the beginning of the end. When a man expects to be arrested, every knock at the door is an alarm. ~Sydney Smith, letter to Robert Wilmot-Horton, 1836 February 8th
You're never too old. Unfortunately, you're always too young to know it. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Youth disserves; middle age conserves; old age preserves. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
One of the best parts of growing older? You can flirt all you like since you've become harmless. ~Liz Smith
Spiritual sloth, or acedia, was known as The Sin of the Middle Ages. It's the sin of my middle age, too. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
We turn not older with years, but newer every day. ~Emily Dickinson
Old men are fond of giving good advice, to console themselves for being no longer in a position to give bad examples. ~François La Rochefoucauld
Middle age is when a narrow waist and a broad mind begin to change places. ~Author Unknown
Middle age is youth without its levity, and age without decay. ~Daniel Defoe
There must be a day or two in a man's life when he is the precise age for something important. ~Franklin P. Adams
Where did the time go? Yesterday, I was a girl, and today, I suddenly find myself in the autumn of my years with the cold winds of winter breathing down my neck. ~Peggy Toney Horton
You can live to be a hundred if you give up all things that make you want to live to be a hundred. ~Allen
I don't do alcohol anymore — I get the same effect just standing up fast. ~Author Unknown
Age is just a number. Mine is unlisted. ~Author Unknown
Age is a prison
we cannot escape
but only by death,
into another world.
I complain that the years fly past, but then I look in a mirror and see that very few of them actually got past. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Middle age is the time when a man is always thinking that in a week or two he will feel as good as ever. ~Don Marquis
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clasp its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress.
~William Butler Yeats, Sailing to Byzantium
You can't reach old age by another man's road. My habits protect my life but they would assassinate you. ~Mark Twain, seventieth birthday speech, 1905
The loose-leaf binder of Mother's letters sat on the kitchen table... she opened the binder.... "My darling daughter, I miss you when I'm away and maybe you don't know that. I miss you listening to me, for one thing.... You get old and you realize there are no answers, just stories." ~Garrison Keillor, Pontoon: A Novel of Lake Wobegon, 2007 [Okay, I'm just going to throw in a crazy side note here, because it's my site and I can. The typeface for the uppercase letters that begin the first word of each chapter is really cute! Kinda fancy and yet fun at the same time. As Brick on The Middle says, "I'm a sucker for a good font."
Whatever a man's age, he can reduce it several years by putting a bright-colored flower in his button-hole. ~Mark Twain, The American Claimant
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by-and-by black night doth take away...
Age is a slowing down of everything except fear. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom. ~H.L. Mencken
Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy. ~Author Unknown
[O]ften, I am not all that exhausted, just either whining, apathetic or just simply not getting on to the next thing. This is why I try to be in environments that don't give me the opportunity to go sideways. Age has forced me to trade in some energy for more resolve. I think it's a good deal. ~Henry Rollins, "Empowerment Through Libraries," November 2013, LA Weekly
I look back on the time I've wasted, and I'm just glad I wasted it while I still had the chance. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Ev'ry season hath its pleasures:
Spring may boast her flow'ry prime,
Yet the vineyard's ruby treasures
Brighten autumn's sob'rer time.
So life's year begins and closes;
Days, though short'ning, still can shine;
What, though youth gave loves and roses,
Age still leaves us friends and wine....
Thus may we, as years are flying,
To their flight our pleasures suit,
Nor regret the blossoms dying,
While we still can taste the fruit.
~Thomas Moore, "Spring and Autumn"
Age seldom arrives smoothly or quickly. It's more often a succession of jerks. ~Jean Rhys
The brain forgets much, but the lower back remembers everything. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself. ~Tom Wilson
We are always the same age inside. ~Gertrude Stein
Old age ain't no place for sissies. ~Bette Davis
At my age, you not only have bittersweet memories, you make bittersweet plans. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that'll get you home earlier. ~Dan Bennett
I fear vastly more a futile, incompetent old age than I do any form of death. ~William Allen White
Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up. ~Author Unknown
Like our shadows, our wishes lengthen as our sun declines. ~Edward Young, Night Thoughts
My younger passions are still listening, as I age. ~Terri Guillemets
Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up. ~Attributed to John Wagner
As we grow older, our capacity for enjoyment shrinks, but not our appetite for it. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
You know you're getting old when all the names in your black book have M.D. after them. ~Arnold Palmer
You spend 90% of your adult life hoping for a long rest and the last 10% trying to convince the Lord that you're actually not that tired. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
Lord save us all from old age and broken health and a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms. ~Mark Twain, letter to Joe Goodman, April 1891
It's hard to feel middle-aged, because how can you tell how long you are going to live? ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
I was young and foolish then; now I am old and foolisher. ~Mark Twain, a Biography
So, as the season was autumnal and the trees were turning brown, I chose a strictly appropriate sentence to be commented upon, "We all do fade as a leaf." It was to be a serious, reflective, almost sentimental discourse, upon the approach of age, the mellowness and beauty of the ripening fruit of experience, the kindly wisdom which was to make up for the cruder joys of youth... ~Adeline Sergeant, The Story of a Penitent Soul: Being the Private Papers of Mr. Stephen Dart, Late Minister at Lynnbridge in the County of Lincoln, 1892
They're not gray hairs. They're wisdom highlights. ~Author unknown
Tired?... The body has forgotten to be tired, under the supreme weariness of the soul. It is the soul which is tired. It is the soul whose wings have been broken beneath the wheel. Once they could have flown into the white light,—soared to the stars, now... now I am old. ~Virginia Woodward Cloud, "The Eleventh Hour," Dixie, August 1899
Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened. ~Jennifer Yane
"Ah," he murmured, "it was ever my prayer, 'Lord, let me grow old in body, but let my soul stay young; let my voice quaver and falter, but never my hope.' And this is how I end." ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897 [character Heinrich Heine speaking
I am now old enough to no longer have a fear of dying young. ~Bruce Ades, c.1990
Middle age is when we can do just as much as ever — but would rather not. ~Author Unknown
In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives a message of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage — so long are you young. When the wires are all down and our heart is covered with the snow of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and only then, are you grown old. ~Douglas MacArthur
Is that a birthday? 'tis, alas! too clear;
'Tis but the funeral of the former year.
The sun shines different ways in summer and winter. We shine different ways in the seasons of our lives. ~Terri Guillemets
No spring nor summer's beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face....
~John Donne, "Elegy IX: The Autumnal"
Love, benevolence, gratitude, and hope enrich the heart, energize the mind, and reanimate the body. Hatred, envy, revenge, and despair impoverish, enfeeble, and depress. Mental and moral hygiene—a cheerful spirit and the employment of every waking moment in work, study, recreation and social intercourse will keep us young and sweet and attractive in spite of furrowed cheeks and faltering footsteps; but an irritable fretful disposition will stamp premature age on mind and heart, and defy all the power of mere physical hygiene. ~W.J. Hunter, "How to Keep Young," Health Magazine, October 1899 [a little altered
To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable. ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
[H]e drew towards his premature old age, childless and lonely,—like the needle which, approaching within a certain distance of the pole, becomes helpless and useless, and, ceasing to tremble, rusts. ~Lord Byron, about Alexander Pope
Zeal, n. A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced. ~Ambrose Bierce
[D]on't grow old. With age comes caution, which is another name for cowardice.... Whatever else you do in life, don't cultivate a conscience. Without a conscience a man may never be said to grow old. This is an age of very old young men. ~Herbert Beerbohm Tree, as quoted by Hesketh Pearson ("Sir Herbert Tree," Modern Men and Mummers)
There's this youth culture that is really, really powerful and really, really strong, but what it does is it really discards people once they reach a certain age. I actually think that people are so powerful and interesting — women, especially — when they reach my age. We've got so much to say, but popular culture is so reductive that we just talk about whether we've got wrinkles, or whether we've put on weight or lost weight, or whether we've changed our hair style. I just find that so shallow. ~Annie Lennox, interview with Chris Azzopardi, September 2014
You know you've lived a few years when you start having your second thoughts first. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
There are years that ask questions and years that answer. ~Zora Neale Hurston
I admire and respect those unique and positive individuals who can "age without aging." The number of times a heart beats is not as important as its tempo and rhythm. ~Craig D. Slovak
The elderly don't drive that badly; they're just the only ones with time to do the speed limit. ~Jason Love
Age attacks when we least expect it. ~Terri Guillemets
May we keep a little of the fuel of youth to warm our body in old age. ~Minna Thomas Antrim, "To Harder Times," A Book of Toasts, 1902
[T]here is this value about the colour that men call colourless; that it suggests in some way the mixed and troubled averages of existence, especially in its quality of strife and expectation and promise. Grey is a colour that always seems on the eve of changing to some other colour; of brightening into blue or blanching into white or bursting into green and gold. So we may be perpetually reminded of the indefinite hope that is in doubt itself; and when there is grey weather in our hills or grey hairs in our heads, perhaps they may still remind us of the morning. ~G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions, "The Glory of Grey"
It's a mere moment in a man's life between an All-Star Game and an Old-timers' Game. ~Vin Scully
It seems no more than right that men should seize time by the forelock, for the rude old fellow, sooner or later, pulls all their hair out. ~George Dennison Prentice, Prenticeana, 1860
At another year
I would not boggle
Except that when I jog
~Ogden Nash, "Birthday on the Beach"
All diseases run into one, old age. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Age is easiest to see in Winter, between the bare branches of the trees. ~Terri Guillemets
It is not by the gray of the hair that one knows the age of the heart. ~Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Some days my soul is windy,
blowing the dying leaves
off my aging bones.
My heart aches,
but it's winter pains —
nothing a little spring won't cure...
~Terri Guillemets, "3PM Sunbeams, Palms Blowing in Winter Wind," 2015
Young twigs will bend, but not old trees. ~Dutch Proverb [Quoted in Woordenboek der Nederduitsche en Fransche Taalen / Dictionnaire Flamand & François, Halma & van Poolsum, c.1710
For young Twigs will bend with most Ease, before they grow stubborn or stiff-neck'd: And we ought to begin early to lay the Foundation of Learning, Knowledge, and Vertue, in the Morning of our Lives; for we are hardly safe from Corruption in our Nurse's Arms. ~Oswald Dykes, c.1713 [A reflection on the English proverb "That which is bred in the Bone, will never out of the Flesh."
'Tis Education forms the common mind,
Just as the Twig is bent, the Tree's inclin'd.
~Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
Does age poison us, or do we poison age? ~Terri Guillemets
The paired butterflies are already yellow with August
Over the grass in the West garden;
They hurt me. I grow older.
Middle age: The time when you'll do anything to feel better, except give up what is hurting you. ~Robert Quillen
If youth but know,
And old age only could.
Old age puts more wrinkles in our minds than on our faces. ~Michel de Montaigne
The best way to live your life is to go to the other side of the rainbow young, but at a very old age. ~Craig D. Slovak
Why is it, that the soul looks back
On its once fair, now faded track,
When Youth and Hope, so fondly bright,
Would onward still direct its flight?
In Manhood's more advancéd years,
We look on youth, and e'en its tears,
All fondly beaming on our gaze,
Seem bright thro' intervening days.
Such joyous freshness hath that time,
So pure the sunshine of its clime,
That turning back, those days to hail,
Bright Fiction lends to Truth her veil,
And o'er each scene of care or woe
Its brighter tints will gently throw:—
Thus sleeps on Midnight's darker hue
The zone that girds her robe of blue.
~Robert Howe Gould, "Poetic Musings, Addressed to a Lady," 1840
The arctic loneliness of age. ~S. Weir Mitchell
Though haply mellow'd by correcting time,
I thank thee, Heaven! that the bereaving world
Hath not diminish'd the subliming hopes
Of youth, in manhood's more imposing cares...
~Robert Montgomery, "Death," A Universal Prayer; Death; A Vision of Heaven; and A Vision of Hell; &c. &c., 1829
One mellows almost without realizing it—a compensation of age, because anger is exhausting. ~Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm, 2014
The true way to render age vigorous is to prolong the youth of the mind. ~Mortimer Collins
When the problem is not so much resisting temptation as finding it, you may just be getting older. ~Author unknown
A man is as old as he's feeling,
A woman as old as she looks.
Seated on a Chippendale chair and writing on a portable typewriter with three fingers of each hand ("most amateur typists can only use two," she says proudly), she takes from six weeks to three months to produce a whodunit. She is still capable of producing two a year and has based four of them on the archaeological work which is now her chief interest. But "I don't think I dare do it again," she says, "or my husband will think I am neglecting my official duties." Agatha Christie would be the last person to want to make trouble of this kind because she rates domestic happiness far higher than literary success, and she is fond of quoting the witty wife who once said, "An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have: the older she gets, the more interested he is in her." ~Nigel Dennis, "Genteel Queen of Crime: Whodunit Writer Agatha Christie Puts Her Zest for Life into Murder," LIFE, 1956 May 14th ["She asked him why he hadn't got married yet, and Richard said he didn't think he was the marrying kind, to which Mrs. Clayton said briskly: 'Nonsense.' Archaeologists, she said, made splendid husbands,—and were there any young women coming out to the Dig this season?" ~Agatha Christie, They Came to Baghdad, 1951
At age 4, success is not peeing your pants.
At age 12, success is having friends.
At age 16, success is having a driver's license.
At age 20, success is having sex.
At age 35, success is having money.
At age 50, success is having money.
At age 60, success is having sex.
At age 70, success is having a driver's license.
At age 75, success is having friends.
At age 80, success is not peeing your pants.
At sixteen I was stupid, confused and indecisive. At twenty-five I was wise, self-confident, prepossessing and assertive. At forty-five I am stupid, confused, insecure and indecisive. Who would have supposed that maturity is only a short break in adolescence? ~Jules Feiffer
Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life. ~Robert Southey, The Doctor
The last birthday that's any good is 23. ~Andy Rooney
The boy gathers materials for a temple, and then when he is thirty, concludes to build a woodshed. ~Henry David Thoreau
If I could only go back to thirty, and yet retain all my experience, I would turn somersaults all the way down to Ostergade. ~Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), written in his seventieth year [The fashionable thoroughfare of Copenhagen.
Before thirty, men seek disease; after thirty, diseases seek men. ~Chinese Proverb
I spent my 30s fixing everything I broke in my 20s. ~Eddie Murphy
Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart. ~Caryn Leschen
It's weird, when you're 39 it starts to happen... ~Keanu Reeves, 2003
No one becomes forty without incredulity and a sense of outrage. ~Clifford Bax (1886–1962) [Written at age 39, in 1925.
Any man of forty who is endowed with moderate intelligence has seen—in the light of the uniformity of nature—the entire past and future. ~Marcus Aurelius
Nobody feels well after his fortieth birthday
But the convalescence is touched by glory...
~Peter Porter (1929–2010), "Returning," English Subtitles, 1981
I'm not 40, I'm eighteen with 22 years experience. ~Author Unknown
I am forty years old, I have already passed through four professions.... I have obeyed and I have commanded; I have had moments of wealth and years of of poverty. I have been loved and I have been hated; I have been applauded and I have been ridiculed. I have been a son and a father, a lover and a husband; I have passed through the season of flowers and through the season of fruits, as the poets say... ~Claude Tillier (1801–1844), My Uncle Benjamin: A Humorous, Satirical, and Philosophical Novel, 1843, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker, 1890
Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.
~Donald Justice, "Men at Forty"
Thanks to modern medical advances such as antibiotics, nasal spray, and Diet Coke, it has become routine for people in the civilized world to pass the age of 40, sometimes more than once. ~Dave Barry, "Your Disintegrating Body," Dave Barry Turns 40, 1990
While I a Moment name, a Moment's past,
I'm nearer Death in this Verse than the last;
What then is to be done? be wise with speed,
A Fool at forty is a Fool indeed.
~Edward Young, "The Universal Passion: Satire II," 1726
At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; at 40 the judgment. ~Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanac
When forty winters shall beseige thy brow,
And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,
Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now,
Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held:
Then being ask'd where all thy beauty lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty days,
To say, within thine own deep-sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame and thriftless praise.
How much more praise deserved thy beauty's use,
If thou couldst answer 'This fair child of mine
Shall sum my count and make my old excuse,'
Proving his beauty by succession thine!
This were to be new made when thou art old,
And see thy blood warm when thou feel'st it cold.
What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy. ~Voltaire
Better one bite, at forty, of Truth's bitter rind,
Than the hot wine that gushed from the vintage of twenty!
~James Russell Lowell, "Two Scenes from the Life of Blondel" [Written at age 44, in Autumn 1863.
If we had breathing space, we should take the occasion to modify and adjust; but at this breakneck hurry, we are no sooner boys than we are adult, no sooner in love than married or jilted, no sooner one age than we begin to be another, and no sooner in the fulness of our manhood than we begin to decline towards the grave. It is in vain to seek for consistency or expect clear and stable views in a medium so perturbed and fleeting.... [W]e cannot even regard ourselves as a constant; in this flux of things, our identity itself seems in a perpetual variation; and not infrequently we find our own disguise the strangest in the masquerade. In the course of time, we grow to love things we hated and hate things we loved.... It is decidedly harder to climb trees, and not nearly so hard to sit still.... All our attributes are modified or changed; and it will be a poor account of us if our views do not modify and change in a proportion. To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty, is to have been stupified for a score of years, and take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and none the wiser. ~Robert Louis Stevenson, "Crabbed Age and Youth," in The Cornhill Magazine, March 1878 [Credited R.L.S.
From forty to fifty a man must move upward, or the natural falling off in the vigor of life will carry him rapidly downward. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
The first forty years of life give us the text; the next thirty supply the commentary on it. ~Arthur Schopenhauer
I was cursed or blessed with a prolonged adolescence; I arrived at some seeming maturity when I was past thirty. It was only in my forties that I really began to feel young. By then I was ready for it. ~Henry Valentine Miller (1891–1980), "On Turning Eighty"
"Nearly twenty years since I set out to seek my fortune. It has been a long search, but I think I have found it at last. I only asked to be a useful, happy woman, and my wish is granted: for, I believe I am useful; I know I am happy."
Christie looked so as she sat alone in the flowery parlor one September afternoon, thinking over her life with a grateful, cheery spirit. Forty to‑day, and pausing at that half‑way house between youth and age, she looked back into the past without bitter regret or unsubmissive grief, and forward into the future with courageous patience; for three good angels attended her, and with faith, hope, and charity to brighten life, no woman need lament lost youth or fear approaching age. Christie did not, and though her eyes filled with quiet tears... none fell; and in a moment tender sorrow changed to still tenderer joy...
~Louisa May Alcott, "At Forty," Work: A Story of Experience, 1873
Life was a fairy-tale, then, it is a tragedy now. When I was 43 and John Hay 41 he said life was a tragedy after 40, and I disputed it. Three years ago he asked me to testify again: I counted my graves, and there was nothing for me to say. I am old; I recognize it but I don't realize it. I wonder if a person ever really ceases to feel young — I mean, for a whole day at a time. ~Mark Twain, letter to Mr. and Mrs. William Gordon, 1906 January 24th
Forty-five is the age of recklessness for many men, as if in defiance of the decay and death waiting with open arms in the sinister valley at the bottom of the inevitable hill. ~Joseph Conrad (1857–1924)
Old age begins at forty-six years, according to the common opinion. ~Cicero/Holmes
Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age. ~Victor Hugo
When I was 40, my doctor advised me that a man in his 40s shouldn't play tennis. I heeded his advice carefully and could hardly wait until I reached 50 to start again. ~Hugo L. Black
Instead of bewailing a lost youth, a man nowadays begins to wonder, when he reaches my ripe age of forty-two, if ever his past will subside and be comfortably by-gone. ~D.H. Lawrence (1885–1930)
The process of maturing is an art to be learned, an effort to be sustained. By the age of fifty you have made yourself what you are, and if it is good, it is better than your youth. ~Marya Mannes, More in Anger, 1958
The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do more, and you are not yet decrepit enough to turn them down. ~T.S. Eliot, quoted in Time, 23 October 1950
One starts to get young at the age of sixty, and then it is too late. Only then does one start to feel free; only then has one learned to strip oneself down to one's essential creative simplicity. ~Pablo Picasso, remark to Jean Cocteau
A man who is not a Liberal at sixteen has no heart; a man who is not a Conservative at sixty has no head. ~Benjamin Disraeli (1804–1881), quoted in Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time by Laurence J. Peter, 1977 [The Quote Investigator has tracked down the earliest known version of this to an 1875 French book, Portraits Contemporains by Jules Claretie, which reads: Anselme Polycarpe Batbie (1828–1887) "in a much-celebrated letter, once quoted the [Edmund] Burke paradox in order to account for his bizarre political shifts: 'He who is not a républicain at twenty compels one to doubt the generosity of his heart; but he who, after thirty, persists, compels one to doubt the soundness of his mind.'" Details: quoteinvestigator.com/2014/02/24/heart-head
I never dared be radical when young
For fear it would make me conservative when old.
~Robert Frost, "Precaution"
To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes (Thanks Janice!)
My diseases are an asthma and a dropsy and, what is less curable, seventy-five. ~Samuel Johnson
In a dream you are never eighty. ~Anne Sexton
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. ~Henry Ford
Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen. ~Mark Twain, quoted in Autobiography with Letters by William L. Phelps
The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don't change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion. ~Doris Lessing
In dog years, I'm dead. ~Author Unknown
I am getting old and the sign of old age is that I begin to philosophize and ponder over problems which should not be my concern at all. ~Jawaharlal Nehru
The years sprint, sail, drift, fly —
Days melt into sleep
Decades we no longer know —
By taste or smell, yes — but
Hard, fast memories tend not to keep
Youth lives on — yet, is long gone
Birds chirp each Spring anew
But our hearts sing the same shades
Of childhood colors we once knew
~Terri Guillemets, "Iridescent"
Nobody is too old for fairy tales. ~Author unknown
'Tis well to give honour and glory to age,
With its lessons of wisdom and truth;
Yet who would not go back to the fanciful page,
And the fairy tale read but in youth?
~Eliza Cook, "Stanzas," Melaia, and Other Poems, 1840
Sometimes age succeeds, sometimes it fails. It depends on you. ~Ravensara Noite
An old woman looks in a mirror, recalls a little girl with a rag doll, and wonders what became of the little girl. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
The best thing about getting old is that all those things you couldn't have when you were young you no longer want. ~L.S. McCandless
I never felt that there was anything enviable in youth. I cannot recall that any of us, as youths, admired our condition to excess or had a desire to prolong it. ~Bernard Berenson
Poetry allows my soul to age gracefully,
my mind to land softly amongst the new gray hairs—
without it I'd have thunked into my 40s with tail bone & funny bone broken.
~Terri Guillemets, "Only bruises," 2015
Middle age is when work is a lot less fun and fun is a lot more work. ~Author unknown
Perhaps in some thin and far-off fashion, he still hoped to find love some day; there had been moments haunted by a vision of himself seated cosily before a glowing hearth, and not alone; but somehow, as the years passed, that figure sitting there in slippered ease had grown older and older, grey haired, even a little stiff in the joints... ~Burton E. Stevenson, The Kingmakers, "Chapter XIX: Selden Takes an Inventory," 1922
Sometimes it takes years to really grasp what has happened to your life. ~Wilma Rudolph
Growing old is not a gradual decline, but a series of drops, full of sorrow, from one ledge to another below it. But when we pick ourselves up we find our bones are, after all, not broken; while level enough and not unpleasing is the new terrace which lies unexplored before us. ~Logan Pearsall Smith, "Age and Death," Afterthoughts, 1931
I can remember once, ere I was dead,
The sorrow and the prayer and bitter cry
When they who loved me stood around the bed,
Watching till I should die:
They need not so have grieved their souls for me,
Grouped statue-like to count my failing breath—
Only one thought strove faintly, bitterly
With the kind drug of Death:
How once upon a time, unwept, unknown,
Unhelped by pitying sigh or murmured prayer,
My youth died in slow agony alone
With none to watch or care.
~Margaret Widdemer (1884–1978), "The Two Dyings," 1913
The pain of watching a parent age is unlike any other.... But in the end, well — it's simply life. ~NCIS, "Better Angels" (S11, E7, 2013), written by Gina Lucita Monreal, spoken by the character Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard
When our vices desert us, we flatter ourselves that we are deserting our vices. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault
We thought we were running away from the grown-ups, and now we're the grown-ups. ~Margaret Atwood
The discovery of a grey hair when you are brushing out your whiskers of a morning—first fallen flake of the coming snows of age—is a disagreeable thing.... So are flying twinges of gout, shortness of breath on the hill-side, the fact that even the moderate use of your friend's wines at dinner upsets you. These things are disagreeable because they tell you that you are no longer young—that you have passed through youth, are now in middle age, and faring onward to the shadows in which, somewhere, a grave is hid. ~Alexander Smith, "An Essay on an Old Subject"
There is a certain even-handed justice in Time; and for what he takes away he gives us something in return. He robs us of elasticity of limb and spirit, and in its place he brings tranquility and repose—the mild autumnal weather of the soul. ~Alexander Smith, "An Essay on an Old Subject"
There is a slow-growing beauty which only comes to perfection in old age.... I have seen sweeter smiles on a lip of seventy than I ever saw on a lip of seventeen. There is the beauty of youth, and there is also the beauty of holiness—a beauty much more seldom met; and more frequently found in the arm-chair by the fire, with grandchildren around its knee, than in the ball-room or the promenade. ~Alexander Smith, "An Essay on an Old Subject"
And in any case, to the old man, when the world becomes trite, the triteness arises not so much from a cessation as from a transference of interest. What is taken from this world is given to the next. The glory is in the east in the morning, it is in the west in the afternoon, and when it is dark the splendour is irradiating the realm of the under-world. He would only follow. ~Alexander Smith, "An Essay on an Old Subject"
There is only one cure for gray hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine. ~P.G. Wodehouse
Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. ~Author Unknown
Middle age is the awkward period when Father Time starts catching up with Mother Nature. ~Harold Coffin
Old age is a lot of crossed off names in an address book. ~Ronald Blythe
My wrinkles are a playground of happy memories. ~Terri Guillemets
You know, when I first went into the movies Lionel Barrymore played my grandfather. Later he played my father and finally he played my husband. If he had lived I'm sure I would have played his mother. That's the way it is in Hollywood. The men get younger and the women get older. ~Lillian Gish
Every man desires to live long, but no man would be old. ~Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects, 1711
Oh! weep not that our beauty wears
Beneath the wings of Time;
That age o'erclouds the brow with cares
That once was raised sublime...
But mourn the inward wreck we feel
As hoary years depart,
And Time's effacing fingers steal
Young feelings from the heart!
~Robert Montgomery, "Lost Feelings," March 1828
The diseases of old age are the diseases of children grown old. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
You spend the first two-thirds of your life asking to be left alone and the last third not having to ask. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
It well becomes a man who is no longer young to forget that he ever was. ~Seigneur de Saint-Evremond, 1696
When the straight, eager forms that we knew in youth
Become bent with age, we rebel at the truth
That never, again, will they be young and strong;
For old age—so ruthless!—has now come along.
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "We Do Not Grow Old" (1940s)
Age is like the newest version of a software — it has a bunch of great new features but you lost all the cool features the original version had. ~Terri Guillemets, "Thirties and beyond," 2006
In youth we are plagued by desire; in later years, by the desire to feel desire. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
You get to an age when there are really just two reasons to get up in the morning — for goodness sake and for heaven's sake. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com
When men grow virtuous in their old age, they only make a sacrifice to God of the devil's leavings. ~Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects, 1711
They talk about the economy this year. Hey, my hairline is in recession, my waistline is in inflation. Altogether, I'm in a depression. ~Rick Majerus
You get up one day, young,
make a quick sandwich,
throw back a cold beer,
then BAM — you're old
— just like that!
We are only young once. That is all society can stand. ~Bob Bowen
There are people whose watch stops at a certain hour and who remain permanently at that age. ~Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve
I am getting to an age when I can only enjoy the last sport left. It is called hunting for your spectacles. ~Edward Grey
The lost leaves measure our years; they are gone as the days are gone. ~Richard Jefferies, The Life of the Fields, 1908
Age swallows our childhood. ~Terri Guillemets
Regular naps prevent old age, especially if you take them while driving. ~Author unknown
How far away the stars seem, and how far is our first kiss, and ah, how old my heart. ~William Butler Yeats
I don't know how you feel about old age... but in my case I didn't even see it coming. It hit me from the rear. ~Phyllis Diller
Growing old is a bad habit which a busy man has no time to form. ~Andre Maurois
Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret. ~Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby
You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old. ~George Burns
You can't turn back the clock. But you can wind it up again. ~Bonnie Prudden
The trick is growing up without growing old. ~Casey Stengel
It takes about ten years to get used to how old you are. ~Quoted by Raymond A. Michel in The Leaf
The answer to old age is to keep one's mind busy and to go on with one's life as if it were interminable. I always admired Chekhov for building a new house when he was dying of tuberculosis. ~Leon Edel
The older you get the stronger the wind gets — and it's always in your face. ~Jack Nicklaus
You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind. ~Timothy Leary
It takes a long time to become young. ~Pablo Picasso
Under perfect conditions of constitution, climate, food, occupations and habits of life, the periods of youth could be greatly prolonged, the decrepitude of age entirely avoided; and like an apple ripe and mellow, man would drop from the tree of life without a struggle or a groan. But it is painfully obvious in this age of artificial life, if not of dissipation and debauchery, the great majority of people are born with organizations incapable of manifesting the phenomena of life for more than sixty or seventy years. ~W.J. Hunter, "How to Keep Young," Health Magazine, October 1899
The problem with beauty is that it's like being born rich and getting poorer. ~Joan Collins
The denunciation of the young is a necessary part of the hygiene of older people, and greatly assists the circulation of the blood. ~Logan Pearsall Smith
Our bodies are the burial grounds of dead time. ~T.A. Sachs, in answer to William Habington "Time! where didst thou those years inter, Which I have seene decease?"
Middle age is when your classmates are so gray and wrinkled and bald they don't recognize you. ~Bennett Cerf
I am old enough to see how little I have done in so much time, and how much I have to do in so little. ~Sheila Kaye-Smith
There is always some specific moment when we realize our youth is gone; but years after, we know it was much later. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age. ~Victor Hugo
Youth is when you are allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle age is when you are forced to. ~Bill Vaughn
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. ~Kurt Vonnegut
To the loved ones with snowy crowns, I bequeath the happiness of old age, the love and gratitude of their children until they fall asleep. ~Author unknown, commonly misattributed to Williston Fish
Never lose sight of the fact that old age needs so little but needs that little so much. ~Margaret Willour
The idea is to die young as late as possible. ~Ashley Montagu
I have seen many things;
My soul is an old soul now;
My soul is tired.
Rulers of Life and Death,
I have lived many lives;
I should be fast asleep
Where my old gods dream white
With the souls I knew...
Rulers of Life and Death,
Let me go sleep!
~Margaret Widdemer (1884–1978), "The Estray," The Factories, With Other Lyrics, 1915
Related Quotations: Birthday, Inner Child & Play, Children, Retirement, Health, Childhood, Skipping, Imagination, Attitude, Faith, Wisdom, Experience, Memories, Grandparents, Generations, Time, Carpe Diem, Live Now, Past, Nostalgia, Body, Autumn, Winter, Spring