I have a new little hobby– watching old ladies. I also watch not-so-old ladies, slightly mature ladies, and almost-old ladies.

For the record, this is my working definition of old: over 500 years old, skin so wrinkled that the eyeballs have completely disappeared into the flaps of skin hanging from the eyebrow region, and the Grim Reaper as constant companion. So please do not send me any hate mail unless you clearly fall into this definition.

At any rate, I’m keeping my eye on the little old ladies because I feel myself hurtling at a startling speed toward my own older years. This is the time to get on the right track. This is my opportunity to not turn into the little old lady who is cranky, peevish, picky, manipulative, or demanding.

Old Ladies

Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. We all have one somewhere, whether it be the family reunion, the house next door, or the church. Age and experience have a way of either refining us and turning us into something beautiful, or damaging us to the extent no one wants to invite us over for the holidays.

I want to be the kind of older woman who grows wiser and kinder and more patient as the years pass. Since I have very little idea of how to do this when left to my own devices, I’m watching the mature ladies God has put in my life and I’m taking notes.

I’d like to report my favorite characters have this amazing ability to calmly, quietly listen to each individual in front of them. They don’t rush in with words or advice. They encourage. They are flexible. They laugh a lot. They read excellent books.

I have no idea how I’m going to get there from here, but that’s what I’m aiming for, at least. How about you? Who’s your favorite old person, and what characteristics do you want to absorb for your own older years?

A God-Filled Life (Titus 2:3-5, from The Message)
Your job is to speak out on the things that make for solid doctrine. Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy faith, love, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives.

14 Comments on Dear Old Ladies: I Am Keeping My Eye on You

  1. Susie Finkbeiner
    December 11, 2014 at 6:22 pm (2 years ago)

    I’ve been acutely aware of my aging body. I found GRAY EYEBROW HAIR! How is that even a thing?

    When I think of sweet ladies who aged to be even sweeter, I think of my great-aunts. They were wonderful and giggled often. I want to giggle a lot when I’m old.

  2. thesilverofhisfining
    December 11, 2014 at 8:17 pm (2 years ago)

    This is a great reminder, Jessie, and something I’ve been thinking about, though I fall into the ‘old lady’ category. My mother did not become sweeter with age, so I’m remembering my aunt and their mother and others who did.

    I like your reminder that it’s not all about me, but that someone is always watching us 🙂 Thanks for keeping me on my best behavior.

  3. memyselfandkids.com
    December 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm (2 years ago)

    I’m sure those around you will also hope you turn into the type of old lady who grows wiser and kinder and more patient as the years pass.

  4. Anthony Baker
    December 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm (2 years ago)

    I want to age like Sean Connery, but with the wisdom of Chuck Swindoll and Ravi Zacharias.

  5. Jessie Clemence
    December 11, 2014 at 10:00 pm (2 years ago)

    Yes, I think maybe this is exactly their hope!

  6. Jessie Clemence
    December 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm (2 years ago)

    You’re welcome, although– if you’re following a blog you can hardly fall into the “old” category. 🙂

  7. Jessie Clemence
    December 11, 2014 at 10:02 pm (2 years ago)

    My grandma and aunts drank a lot of vodka and then swore at each other in Polish. It was hilarious, and they make great characters for novels!

  8. Susie Finkbeiner
    December 11, 2014 at 11:04 pm (2 years ago)

    Wow. Polish cussing. That’s got to be something pretty special…

  9. Deb W
    December 11, 2014 at 11:39 pm (2 years ago)

    Mrs W’bee…known her my whole life. She always finds joy in the deepest of pain. She laughs…she listens…she cares…she is in her late 80’s and still serves.

  10. Anne
    December 12, 2014 at 9:49 am (2 years ago)

    My grandma’s gotten grumpier and much more stubborn as she gets older, and I love it. We can have much more frank and honest conversations and it just feels way more real. I know that sounds totally backwards, but we’re closer now than when she was syrup-y sweet and nice. 🙂

  11. Jessie Clemence
    December 12, 2014 at 4:31 pm (2 years ago)

    That’s awesome! I never thought about how it might work the opposite way. So we’ll add “frank” and “honest” to our lists of virtues.

  12. julie
    December 18, 2014 at 12:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Let me grow lovely growing old
    so many fine things do
    Lace and ivory and gold
    and silks need not be new
    There is healing in old trees
    old streets a glamour hold
    Why may not I as well as these
    grow lovely growing old.