Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor, action adventurewriter, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, project enterprise series, steampunk, humor
Me and my dad.

When I was rolling up on my fiftieth birthday, someone said to me, “Isn’t fifty the new forty?”

I shook my head. “It’s pretty much the same old fifty. Not much new about it.”

Even with plastic surgery, science and eating a miserably healthy diet, we all still get older. Those birthdays roll around, whether you like them or not.

I don’t actually mind getting older. It’s just…

When I hadn’t been a mom very long, I asked my mom when I’d feel like a grown-up. She told me she’d let me know. Still haven’t gotten that phone call. I used to wonder what she meant when she insisted she still didn’t feel it. And I’d think, you’re my mom! Surely you feel it. You’re a grown-up.

pauline baird jones, author, writer, science fiction romance author, romantic suspense author, project enterprise series, 1955
I had NO idea what the future held for me…

I’ve lived my life, watched the years roll past, our kids have grown into really cool adults, and gravity has gone to work on my body (and not in a good way).

As each decade came and went, I kept waiting to feel it, to feel older, to feel old. To feel wise, to feel venerable. I rolled over the half decade mark without feeling it. Now I’m closing on the big six-0. Not to that birthday yet, but I can see it out there, getting closer. Not this year, but soon.

And I have to say, it is nothing like I expected. There are a few more aches and pains. I don’t “bounce back.” I splat, but I don’t bounce. Not anymore. Ever. I tried a trampoline, thinking that kind of bouncing would work. Yeah, didn’t got well. Gravity is really cranky.

But here’s the weird part: I don’t feel that different. I still feel like me. Inside me is that little girl, holding her dad’s hand. The teenager who wondered what she’d be “when she grew up.” The new mom. The wife. The author. The old mom. The un-trophy wife. The hermit. The reader. I still like to read–and write–about a girl and a guy looking at each other for the first time and feeling that tingle down the spine that means they’re going to fall in love.

Pauline Baird Jones, writer, author, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor
“Make a wish….”

Now I understand what my grandmother meant when she said, she’d look in the mirror and wonder who that old woman was. I’m inside me, looking out of my face, not into it, so I go along, living my life, feeling like me. Sometimes I even feel sassy and not that old and then I catch sight of what you all see and think, holy crap, who is that? And then it’s, oh crap, that’s me! Sometimes I really do look like a stranger to me. It’s a very weird feeling.

I’m more than the sum of all the things I’m done. Not just the sum of my years and the damage the living has done to the outside.

I’m me.

Even though I have earned every gray hair, laugh line (grin) and muscular surrender to gravity the hard way, and I plan to keep them, thank you very much, I can kind of see why people go for plastic surgery. They want to look on the outside, like they feel on the inside.

Like themselves.

If you’re young, you won’t believe me. If you’re older, then you’re probably nodding your head and thinking, oh yeah. And maybe you’re also thinking, nope, didn’t see it coming. If you did see it coming, then you are wiser than me, which is also something I thought would happen as I got older. I really thought I’d feel wise. Does anyone know what wise is supposed to feel like? I know what I thought it would be, but not what it is.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor, action adventure
Yeah, still didn’t completely understand that old was incoming…

So, those of you ahead of me in birthdays, has it hit yet? Is there a line you cross where you suddenly feel old? Where you feel wise? Being sick doesn’t count! And those of you who are younger, do you think I’m just a bat crap, crazy old lady?

All comments are entered into my monthly drawing for $10 AnaBanana gift card, whether you are old or young. Winner is announced in the first blog post of the new month.

Pauline Baird Jones, author, writer, romantic suspense author, science fiction romance author, steampunk, humor, Project Enterprise

Perilously, and always and forever the same, until I die and beyond, yours,

Pauline 🙂

Because I still love to read and write about falling in love, I’ve written 13 novels where a guy and a gal fall in love. And in some of them there is shooting and explosions, or space battles with shooting and explosions. For more information about my books, hop over to my website at

What I Never Knew about Getting Older…

22 thoughts on “What I Never Knew about Getting Older…

  • January 22, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Hmmm, wise old woman? Me? Nah. The big 60 came and went without much fanfare. Don’t really feel older – not in my head anyway. My reflection — eh. Certainly there was no sudden revelation of wisdom. I don’t _feel_ one whit wiser. And yet, I think wisdom has crept up on me much like age has. I share bits of information here and there, things I hope will make that person’s life a little easier. Is that wisdom? Doesn’t feel wise to me, feels like confession – here’s what I did wrong. Whatever. I’m going to keep pretending age doesn’t matter, that someday I’ll be older and wiser. Who knows, maybe I will. Great post, Pauline.

    • January 22, 2013 at 7:48 am

      Thanks, Lynette, yeah, I know things, obviously, I’ve lived long enough that if I don’t know anything, well, that would just be sad. LOL But yeah, most of it is from doing it wrong and taking too long to figure that out. Luckily the “oxen are slow but the Earth is patient.” LOL

  • January 22, 2013 at 1:10 am

    Pauline, I recently had a birthday, and the only thing that is changing is now they come around much faster. I swear my next one is only a couple of months away.

    • January 22, 2013 at 7:47 am

      They come at you like freight trains, don’t they? Sometimes hit like them, too! LOL

  • January 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    I absolutely love this post! I feel and have felt the same way. I think most people can identify with this. My birthday is the end of this month. I was thinking about my age the other day and thinking about how I still feel in my heart and mind like I did at 30. It’s what keeps me dreaming and plugging ahead toward those dreams. The outside certainly looks different but the inside is still me. 🙂

    • January 22, 2013 at 7:46 am

      Yes! And it’s not like I didn’t expect to me, but yeah, didn’t expect to forget I wasn’t 30. The funny part is, I don’t mind my age and I’m so excited to embrace grandma-hood…but…it’s like this weird, disconnect. LOL

  • January 21, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Ever so funny, and so true. Being 50-ish (denying the countdown to 60), I can sense the disconnect between what I feel, and what my body will do. The old face I shave every morning is not the face I’m wearing on the inside when I’m inspired or excited. If you feel you must bounce – and I don’t recommend this for anyone’s bucket list – falling off a roof is a good start to a bad ending. Been there, done that. Less smart now than at 20. Old people break more than bend. When I do feel old, it’s when I’m sad, like when I’ve lost a friend. That happens more all the time. I offer my grandmother’s advice. When you get tired of talking with old people about dying, talk to the young people about living. Perhaps attitude is why we don’t feel old.

    • January 22, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Yes! Falling is so much more painful now, isn’t it. And you are right, when I feel sad IS when I feel my age. I can say, I care less what people think about me, well, most of the time. And at parties (when forced to leave the hermit house), I can blend in more and more. The other day, I can’t remember what this older gentleman did, but the hubs said something about a geezer. I just looked at him. He blinked a couple of times, and then looked sheepish. I had to laugh and shake my head at us. I wonder, when I’m 90, will I still forget I’m the geezer? (If I know my name!)

  • January 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Oh, yeah, nodding my head and thinking oh yeah. I’ve crossed the big six oh and guess what? It’s no different on this side of the divide. Yep. Who’s that old biddy in the mirror? Not the woman in my head.

    • January 22, 2013 at 7:36 am

      I know! Right? Some days it is like looking at a stranger! A familiar stranger, but still a stranger…

  • January 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Every time I look in the mirror, I look more and more like my mother, but I act more and more like my father….juat can’t seem to escape it!

  • January 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I totally agree. I was/am shocked too every time I see myself in the mirror. And yet inside, I still wait to be carded when I buy alcohol. Sigh

    • January 22, 2013 at 7:38 am

      LOLOL! We were at IHOP and realized that a) I was eligible for senior meal, had been for months and the hubs had been for some years and we hadn’t checked. And no, the server didn’t card us. Most humbling! I thought he might have pretended not to believe us. LOL!

  • January 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Got a newsflash for you. You are wise!!! … a post like this one denotes Sanity and Wisdom as they really are!

    … loving the ‘splat’ too!

    • January 22, 2013 at 7:35 am

      Oh, that’s nice of you to say and unfortunately I ‘splat way too much! LOL I will confess I found a journal from some years ago (when kids were small) and thought, oh, let me see how I’ve grown and matured. I started reading and then I stopped. I blinked and went, wait, I’m still struggling with those things. LOLOL Oh well…I do fuss less. I think. (grin)

  • January 21, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I’m only about to hit the three-oh mark, but I can relate to what you are saying. I figured at this point, things would start to change with me but they haven’t. I still act like a teenager and I have the personality of someone that needs to grow up. I figured as the years have started to go by that I would grow up, but I am just me and I love that it hasn’t changed. Even with our one year old daughter, I still don’t feel like I am old enough to be a parent.

    • January 21, 2013 at 10:25 am

      And I’m happy to tell you that won’t change that much. (grin) One day she’ll be a teenager and you’ll have a heart attack because she wants to date someone like you, of course. But you still won’t feel older. You’ll just want to buy a gun. (VBG) But yeah, around 30 it started to dawn on me that I wasn’t feeling all that grown up. LOL So still not sure why it took me by surprise when I realized getting older was not at all what I thought it would be. (grin)

  • January 21, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Pauline, I can SO relate and even though I’ll be 65 next Sunday I still don’t recognize that woman in the mirror, the one with more salt than pepper in her hair, the one with a jowl that deepens monthly. I loved the Splat comment. Yeah, I stopped bouncing back quite a while ago. I may have to borrow that comment. Anyway, I’m with you. I still feel young, love to write and read, look forward to many new adventures, and go with the flow. Some days I float around the house as if on air. On other days, I limp with arthritis that grips almost every joint. On those days I DO feel older but I’m glad I have more good days than bad. On Sunday I’m throwing myself a Medicare party. I’ve asked guest to bring gifts: BenGay, Preparaton H, etc. Enjoyed the post.

    • January 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

      The gifts sound perfect! I was laughing over my spam, both email, mail and phone. I got: motorized wheel chair spam, funeral spam and senior care over the phone! Hubs and I just looked at each other and shook our heads. Someone told me I’m only as old as I feel. Well, that changes daily, too. LOLOL Early happy birthday! And may you have as many more birthdays as you WANT. (I’m still working on the math on that one for myself. LOL)

  • January 21, 2013 at 9:25 am

    There is so much about being in my 50’s I didn’t expect. I guess I thought I’d be young until I was old, not that I’d lose it incrementally! About the wise part… I was so much wiser in my 30’s. Then, I pretty much knew everything. Now, I’m not sure about anything!

    • January 21, 2013 at 10:26 am

      Yeah, I was a lot smarter at 30, too. Then it just started to flake off. LOLOL! The funny thing is, now I can’t remember how I thought it would be (age?)I just know this isn’t it. LOL!

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