Growing Up Vs Growing Old.


Shackman’s suggestion for the weekly Friday LBC post is a favourite topic among some people who are growing old physically but who claim that they are not growing up.  I envy them.  I wish that I could have stayed at my youth mentally.

Surely such talk or shall we say, wishful thinking is just that.  One cannot really stop growing up any more than stop growing old.  Degrees of such growth can be subject to discussion or observation, but we cannot completely stop either process.

We can certainly use the phrase as a whole with some tweakings for different contexts for humour but in reality, I am afraid that at least in my opinion, both processes are unstoppable.


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49 Responses to Growing Up Vs Growing Old.

  1. Dunnasead says:

    Wow, Ramana, who rained on your parade? Hope you are ok. There is a study, quoted continutally everywhere you read at the moment, that reaction to pain and problems can be physically re-programmed by facing fears in a secure environment, seeing that they are not as bad as you thought, then practicing placing a positive thought over each negative one until a positive thought process is established, a form of neural reprogramming, and finally adding many more positive reactions, until so to speak there is no room for the negative. (My appologies in advance to anyone working medically or researching in the field. ) My personal belief is that you have to recognize reality, but don’t always have to take part. Wishing you a long and happy second childhood.
    Dunnasead recently posted..And Gutenberg Lived Here: Of Witches, Ascension,Waldmeister, Cauldron Races, And Carnival

    • I am Okay Lin. And nobody has rained on my parade. After reading all the comments, I have to conclude that perhaps I have not explained my position clearly. Growing up does not necessarily have to mean that one grows up to be a somber old bandicoot. One can grow up to be as cheerful as a teenager or not as the situation demands. My take is that one has to accept both developments for whatever they are worth.

  2. shackman says:

    I disagree – growing up can and even should be somewhat controlled. It is how we respond to life’s events that determines how and how much we grow up. know several old fogies who exhibit degrees of immaturity stunning for people of their age (at least in my opinion)

    • I think that I have not stressed on reactions to events as they unfold in the process of aging. This does not mean that when serious things happen one acts immaturely.

  3. Linda Sand says:

    It depends on how you define growing up. If not growing up is defined as maintaining a childlike sense of wonder, then I vote Tammy as most successful.

    • tammy j says:

      oh good grief charlie brown!
      i’m thinking it might just be a latent blooming. LOLOL!
      i don’t think much about being grown up actually.
      i’m just trying hard lately to realize when my ego is talking or when i am.
      my ego thinks growing up is a big deal. and i don’t. LOL.

    • Exactly. I think that my definition is somewhat different to what is popular thanks to statements like “Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional.”

  4. Ursula says:

    I agree, Ramana. Growing up goes hand in hand with getting older. Ask a twenty four year old. Where once a child has little responsibility the adult does.

    I do believe that part of the crux is that people put a negative connotation on “growing up”. One I don’t get. Worse, I don’t actually like the coquettish way in which some older people claim that they never grew up. Bull to that. And if they are right and they didn’t, then, well, … commiserations. One can maintain a child’s wonderment at the world whilst not shunning growing up. In fact, if you look in the dictionary, one of the definitions of “to grow up” is to develop. Now. who wouldn’t wish to “develop”?

    Ursula recently posted..Beginnings

    • Wow, thanks Ursula. Maintaining a child’s wonderment, so very well put, throughout one’s life has nothing to do with growing up is all that I maintain. It is one’s attitude to life, that is all.

      • Dunnasead says:

        Creativity is the talent and ability to use all the tools you have gathered in your experiences in life. it is not, in my opinion, childish wonder, but rather the serious recognition and the admiration of all that is around us, both God-given, and processed by us in our lives, to create a world that gives back our awe of the creation. this recognition of something much higher than us, as a path to where we are supposed to be, is to me much much more important than childish wonder. Or growing old. Or up. Hermann Hesse didn’t use the phrase “the laughter of the immortals” lightly. Ps for the non-religious among us, Hesse was not only a pietist, he was also a serious follower of Jung. Hook your goals to a star, and as long as you can roller skate, do.
        Dunnasead recently posted..Growing Up vs Growing Old: And Now For Something Entirely Different

  5. I’m with Arthur C. Clarke. His epitaph was, “He never grew up; but he never stopped growing.” Sounds good to me. 🙂
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Synchonicity

  6. tammy j says:

    if growing up means being deadly serious about everything in life… and many believe that to be the case… i feel they’re missing much in life that makes it worth the living.
    if growing up is learning to be kind and to try to understand all people regardless of their place in life and our own lives … then i hope i am very grown up.
    i suppose it’s all in the semantics.
    the older i get the more humorous i find human nature. except when it’s dark.
    then it’s sad indeed.

  7. I think growing up is about getting a sense of responsibility. We should NEVER stop playing.
    Keith H. Burgess recently posted..Visite de Paris au XVIIIe siècle (quartier du Grand Châtelet)

  8. Cathy in NZ says:

    I don’t understand either statement – growing up and growing old – they don’t seem connected to me…

    As soon as one can make coherent sentences, you are on the first step of the ladder and already you are “growing up” if you can even reach that first step.

    I can think of a number of teens – for one of a reason, act like that are going on 44 – with a tone of voice to go with it “I’m old enough to do what I like” (I’ve one such teen next door…)

    When people ask me the serious question “how are old you?” I nearly always say “over the age of consent” 🙂

  9. Grannymar says:

    Q. How old am I?
    A. Just look at the lines on my face!

    I grew up fast at nine years of age. My mother had a serious heart attack. As the oldest girl, I regularly had to take on her chores, cooking, baking, laundering and endless bed making. Two years later my father was dying and both my parents were creaking gates for the remainder of their days. Those experiences prepared me for life in the real world, our home regularly had frail or ill relations that we children helped with in their daily needs. It was the perfect lesson in ‘Caring’.

    In the last eighteen years of widowhood, I have had to re-evaluate my life on several occasions due to my own health issues. I have come to terms with the knowledge that my heart might go into spasm at any moment and that would be it. Plop! There were two options: Sit and waste time worrying about something that might never happen, or live each day with relish and enjoy each new experience. I chose the latter. Laughter and cheerful friends are the best medicine!

    You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.

    Stay healthy, Ramana.
    Grannymar recently posted..I’ll say it again

    • If by being practical one is not growing up, I think that you and I are not grown up at all! I try to stay healthy Grannymar, and I wish you the same.

  10. Big John says:

    On a not so serious note. Why am I reminded of Peter Pan ? .. He didn’t grow up or grow old, and look what a mess he was. Anyway, that’s what Wendy told me. … 🙂
    Big John recently posted..‘Catch Up TV’ … why bother ?

  11. Mother says:

    Well, when I think of myself in my younger years and reflect on my immature actions, reactions, judgements, and behaviors – I am certainly happy to have grown up. On the other hand, I am captivated by the child-like wonder and joy in some of my friends and family. This, I believe, is a trait to cultivate in myself. So, perhaps I am of a mixed mind on this. No doubt about the fact that I am growing older, however. And up until this very instant, that certainly beats all alternatives.
    Mother recently posted..Forgiveness…What Grief has to do with It.

    • All of us like to see the child-like wonder and joy in older people. The point that I tried to make is that that does not mean that they have not grown up.

  12. Maxi says:

    I have had a saying for many years: I can’t help growing old but I will never BE old.
    blessings ~ maxi

  13. I understand this one. Life might not have been perfect but it didn’t have any trauma. Then my dad passed away, my grandmother passed away, and my mother’s memory isn’t what it used to be and I, the only child in the family who doesn’t live in the same hometown, am the one who has to now make almost all the decisions. Mentally I don’t feel I’m old enough for it but logically I am. So we have to grow up mainly for the needs of others; sigh…
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..How Are You? Life And Blogging

  14. Looney says:

    This does have me pondering that just as the body can revert to earlier forms of un-coordination as it grows old, so the mind can too. And as some of the other commenters said in different words, as the child can be care-free due to not having responsibility, so can the old.
    Looney recently posted..Are we there yet?

  15. If the culture in which one is growing up is infantile, then only rebels mature. But society will see this rebellion as immature. I don’t think we can talk as if individuals somehow miraculously float free of their environment and can be judged in absolute terms. Everything is relative. One person’s ‘growing up’ may be another person’s ‘conformism’ and ‘growing used to things’. As I get older I seek to loosen the shackles of imposed thinking and rediscover first principles.

  16. Linda Sand says:

    I have a friend whose aunt is in her late 90s. The aunt recently discovered Victoria’s Secret. She reminisced about how how her late husband would have enjoyed the things she bought. Oh, if we could all age as that aunt is–still feeling sexy as she is about to turn 100.

  17. Dick Klade says:

    Good post and some intriguing comments. I’m not much interested in youthful frivolity anymore, but still am curious about many things and enjoy continuing to learn. In fact, now and then when I realize how old I am, I’m amazed. Some people might use similar situations as their definition of “not growing up.”
    Dick Klade recently posted..Presidential Campaigns–the Bad and the Ugly

  18. I grew up as fast as I could because I could hardly wait to “be my own boss” and take part in what I supposed was important. Would love to have at least one day of careless childhood right now. (child-like, not childish, I mean).

  19. nick says:

    I feel too grown up in some ways and totally un-grown up in others. Too grown up in that I’m now familiar with all the horrors of the world I never knew about as a child. Un-grown up in that there are situations I still find it very tricky to deal with – like social events, death, rejection, hatred. Growing up can mean so many different things – as your other commenters have said – it’s hard to say how grown-up one is. If it means losing your sense of wonderment, then I certainly haven’t grown up.
    nick recently posted..Eye of the storm

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