Aging is One Thing

Doing it gracefully is another.

Carol Burt
10 min readApr 6, 2021


Photo by BBH Singapore on Unsplash

How did I get so damn old? I was in my thirties — it seems just the other day — and I could do anything! I mean anything. I was a 5'3" police officer. I could leap tall buildings…well, maybe not. But I felt like I could. I could damn sure arrest people a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier. I meant to be a strong chick like that forever.

Then I was in my forties and even my fifties.

I felt great. And you know, I’m going to go ahead and say it, I looked great, too. Although, I didn’t know it back then. I settled a lot because I was very critical of myself, and especially of my looks. I only found out later — the truth was that I was good-looking. Especially compared to the crone I am now. We’ll talk about her later.

I was just going along. My hubs and I were active in our forties and fifties and into our sixties. We walked on the beach, we loved going camping — if you could call it that — in our Airstream trailer and we spent two months on the road out west. My husband had motorcycles. I could run.

And then, one winter a year or two ago, it became harder to do the things I had always done. When spring came, it was apparent I had lost ground over the long, lazy winter curled up on the sofa reading. It was hard to get my mojo going once the days became gently warm. I felt stiff as if I had hibernated all winter.

It became especially hard to look in the mirror and to feel the same kind of happy and confident. My youth didn’t sneak away slowly, at least it didn’t seem that way to me. It just up and flew the coup one day and and I saw wrinkles, dark spots, and thinning lips. Lord help me, what happened to that mane of hair I had thrown around and had even been envied for? Suddenly my hair was thinning. My part was wider. My skin was becoming crepe-like. Where the hell did those ugly moles on my neck come from. I bruised easier and my thinning skin got wounded easier. Heck, the rose bush could inflict not just a prick, but a tear that looked serious. These days, I might bleed to death from a light scratch from our dog. Crepe doesn’t hold up worth a shit, and it tears easily.

Realizing all that was a few years ago and I’ve sort of adjusted. I wrote about someone stealing my youth in another…



Carol Burt

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.