this is 58

I can’t possibly be this old and yet I am.
Resisting the truth doesn’t make me any more comfortable in my ever more freckled skin. So for the second year in a row, I’m greeting my age and giving it a great big hug.
I found that last year’s opening to this is 57 felt like a mantra of sorts so you will hear echoes there, as well as with the closing.
One new photo in the slideshow this year—2014. More new photos next year!

Continued appreciation to Lindsey Mead for the inspiration.


This is fifty-eight.



58 is more freedom still than I had last year at 57, probably because I’m becoming more comfortable with exercising it and the people around me are becoming more comfortable with my exercise of it. These days, each month I still spend a week where I want to live—in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on the very tip of Cape Cod, as far as you can go without falling into the sea.

58 is old—the number that is—but I don’t feel old. I feel just the same.

58 is not old—I’m not yet in my 60’s or 70’s or 80’s or 90’s. I’m not yet 100.

IMG_256158 is 11 little bundles of sticks with 1 across the middle. It’s 3 sticks already in the next bundle.

58 is having lived 21,184 days. Which doesn’t seem like so many.

58 is having not as many days as I have lived still to live.


58 is, as my husband says, one day older than I was yesterday.

58 is wondering why the preoccupation with freedom.

58 is wondering if the resistance to being old (I mean older) will ever give way to something else.

58 is taking a risk on a new haircut!

58 is not yet having used age as a reason I can’t do something.

58 is having had a moment on New Year’s Eve when I didn’t want the ball to drop and doing something about it.

58 is being 90 days into a practice of articulating one truth a day about myself and posting it here—acknowledging all the different strands that swirl together into me.

58 is running when I want to.

58 is driving a black Prius instead of the convertible I always thought I wanted.

58 is 4 adult children—all off on their own—plus a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law. And liking them ALL. I was 23 when my first child was born. I was 55 when the last one left for college. You do the math.

58 is being a grandmother to three little ones with another one on the way! BUT we are not your mothers’ grandmothers. We do not stay home in house dresses. We are Joni Mitchell.

58 is doing THIS:

58 is not holding so tightly to one dream.

58 is taking blood pressure medicine, damn it.

58 is being a Platinum Medallion Flyer.

58 is feeling happier.

58 is winter having displaced fall as my favorite season.

58 is wearing a Fitbit and often getting 10,000 steps or more.

58 is 30 years of marriage and still liking each other.

58 is being the same age as the very cool Frances McDormand.

58 is going through the family photos, one by one, and remembering the small moments, the fun it was.

58 is hearing my own voice.

58 is being confident about my writing.

58 is listening to The Head and the Heart, Sam Smith, Lady Antebellum, as well as Joni Mitchell and Simon & Garfunkel.


58 is 5 decades, almost 6.

58 is gratitude for each of those days in each of those years.

58 is being excited about the year ahead and the rest of the journey…which belongs to me.


She sees that she has before her an important task: to understand that all the things that happened in her life happened to her. That she is the same person who was born, was a child, a girl, a young woman, and now she is old. That there is some line running through her body like a wick.

–Mary Gordon, The Rest of Life

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this was 57

17 thoughts on “this is 58

  1. What a marvelous list! And slide show! I will sit down and read it more carefully later, but a quick scan is making me feel, I dunno, happy! Thanks!


  2. Really enjoyed this. Great slideshow! Come to think of it,I haven’t done zip line yet. 58 is not so bad. I will be 70 this summer, and I’m feeling wonderful. But time is getting shorter so we need to really enjoy it! My mom’s going to be 95 next month which is really amazing, although she has had Alzheimer’s for almost 10 years now. Here’s to another year to live more days!


  3. Wow, Cynthia, this really is quite the reflective list! I remember you did this last year, and with the photos, too, only these look like a totally different batch. LOVED looking at them and you still look great 🙂

    One thing I hate about getting older is that I’m CONscious of the fact that I’m getting older. When it didn’t show on my face, I didn’t think much about it. Now it’s impossible to ignore. The thing is, as we all know—time waits for no one, right? But as long as we’re still breathing, it’s a good thing 🙂


  4. Great post, wonderful photos. I am six months ahead of you in the age department, thought slightly behind in the adult children category. I could related to many things on your list. Many happy returns!


  5. Nina, some days more energy than others : )

    Thanks, Doug. Nice to hear a report from 69–and yes, the zip line–scariest thing I’ve ever done.

    Same photos, Donna, except for 2014, but new ones probably next year. I’m finding more going through our photos.

    Kathryn, thanks for reading! I like 1972 and 1975 too–camp photo and first semester of college.

    Lea! Speaking of college, it’s so great to hear from you after all these years! Wow, wasn’t it just yesterday… Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment. I hope you’ll be back.


  6. “This is 52!!”
    I own it, embrace it, proclaim it and just like that, the stinger is removed. This is my new mantra, my stake in the ground..until July..
    when I turn 53! 😏


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