Longer Days
A Milestone

2017 vs.1997


Grown and Flown is a popular website for parents of children ages 15-25 that was planning to publish an article I wrote about how to help your kids make smart decisions about graduate school. Because I had worked at a Harvard graduate school for a long time, they asked if I had a photograph showing me and Harvard that they could use. “Not really”, I told them, “except for a picture at my son’s graduation.” They wanted it, so we scanned it in and sent it off. (Ultimately, they didn’t use it, but that’s not my point here.)

I love that picture. It shows a proud mom (me), my boss at the time (in his doctoral regalia) and Seth, the new holder of a master’s degree. Maybe I’d just had the perfect haircut. Maybe it was my outfit. But I looked great.

The bad news is that the picture made it clear to me that I don’t look as hot today. Twenty years have taken their toll.

Not that I haven’t worked hard to stay in shape. I use sunscreen, eat all the right foods, and exercise regularly. I wouldn’t change anything except my expectations to keep looking like I’m fifty-nine.

On the other hand, I know that if I’m lucky enough to be around for another twenty years, I’m going to wish that I looked then the way I look today.  



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Still the Lucky Few

Twenty years seems to fly by, but it's a long time in terms of your skin and the qualities that make you look young. I had a struggle with this issue lately, shocked at how I'd aged since a photo taken five years ago! After a bout like that, I count my blessings, especially my good health, and keep on living a full life. It's futile to grieve our changing bodies!

Nora Hall

Love your attitude! And, I'll bet you do look great today!


You capture that poignancy of witnessing our own ageing, and express my thoughts exactly. I don't have so many elders these days, and at (almost) 75 appreciate having you treading the path ahead of me. Thank you for the way you write so directly and beautifully from your own experience. I enjoy your blog a lot, even when I don't get to comment.

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