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By Sally Asmundson
Posted: 12/21/2020
When I was about 50 I wrote a poem, Old. I was both sure I would die by 60 (many people close to me had died young, my father at 46) but even surer that I didn’t want to live my stereotyped vision of old. Even then I probably knew I wouldn’t have a real choice. 
I am now 80, learning how to be old, and have revisited my poem and written a companion, Old Again.
Because most of you, like me, are now old I wanted to share both with all my Pasadena Village friends.


I don't want to grow old
I want to die suddenly,
while still in my prime.

Oh fool am I, I'm just afraid
Yes, afraid

Afraid of the old, no one listens
no one to touch to hold
can't pick up the suitcase remember where the keys are
climb a mountain drive a car
see the stars
did you call today?


Will I find the courage to love me


Sally J. Asmundson, about 1990

Old Again

I didn’t die while still in my prime

Here I am at 80, still alive and
proud to be old

I’m still afraid of all the things I feared at 50


I am still listened to and if I don’t have someone to hold today
it’s not because of age and loss
I can still pick up the suitcase remember where the keys are drive a car,
even slowly climb a mountain see the stars
learn new things make new friends


You did call today and while I’m OLD I’m not yet weak
Even stronger in some ways
I am BOLD and learning to love myself more everyday

Sally Asmundson
December 20, 2020

Note that Sally has clearly redefined aging in her own life. Her stereotype of aging when she was 50 is no longer how she thinks of this period of her life. Here is a different kind of description of what it means to redefine aging.

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