Don’t You Dare Tell Me I’m Too Old

Especially since I’m seventy-five

Linda A. Moran
Human Parts
Published in
5 min readFeb 2, 2024

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Me and Ben and Jerry’s on the Portuguese Riviera, c. 2023, Linda Moran

I went to Europe for the first time in October this year. My last overseas trip was in 1978 to China before normalization of political relations with the United States. It was an amazing experience for this history girl, as was Europe. Coming slowly out of the fog of my husband’s death after 45 years of marriage, I suddenly found myself wanting to DO STUFF. I know my mother’s first words to me would be (as they always had been), “You’re too old.” Ah, no. And bah humbug to those telling me that during this year when they heard my plans to travel and take on other long-term projects, like publishing a book and planning for a gallery show.

I will never be too old to follow dreams and ideas.

I investigated, and on October 6 I boarded the first of three flights to get to Porto, Portugal. I was overweight, using a hiking pole, taking advantage of airport assistance, and taking my time to absorb everything I could when not looking at the ground to ensure I wouldn’t trip on something. So I am “old” in a bunch of respects: actual age, heart meds every day, basic daily walking for exercise, forgetting why I am in a particular room, searching for the “right” word, and other idiosyncrasies that are my life now.

But I am — and was — always ready for a challenge, even more so now. I heard a story from a friend who was in a professional development session for educators — I am definitely beyond those — and the exercise was to take a 100-centimeter strip of paper, take off the first 21 centimeters as our “before work” years, then cut off the centimeters to our current age, and what was left was number of centimeters we had to live life.

My friend was pretty horrified at what remained for her, and I am reminded of that story frequently these days. Technically I have 25 centimeters left to live till the end of the strip.

My reality says I’m aiming for 90 years old, but 85 is probably more realistic, which is why these 10 years are my “bucket list decade.” I will do all those things I know I want to do that are important enough to me to take whatever risks and preparations I need to.

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Linda A. Moran
Human Parts

Artist, Author, Activist; truth-telling in history; redefining myself as a widow for a new decade. lindamoran.org