A few years before her death, my mother-in-law made a declaration. While discussing her aches and pains, she said with a wry smile, Don’t ever get old.

I assumed that she was using it as a complaint about old age as she wasn’t in the best of health.

However, the statement puzzled me. I thought, What’s the alternative?

It’s been seven years since her passing and I’ve often thought of her words that day.

I’m a self-declared Contrarian. My way of looking at being a Contrarian is that I don’t simply accept things at face value. I prefer to look deeper, especially when it comes to the things I believe and the conclusions I draw from them.

With this post, I’d like to demonstrate the power of Contemplative Writing (CW) because it was through CW that I have realized the truth embedded in her words.

Don’t ever get old….as I explored my thoughts about it I began to understand that even though it was probably not what she meant, those four little words had a much deeper meaning for me.

As a result, I plan on taking her advice and doing just that!

I utilized one of the exercises from Contemplative Writing, where you take a word and find a way to make it into the reverse version of an acronym.

I select a word that fits the letters in the original word, with the intention of exploring the meaning of the words I am using on a deeper level. Here’s one option for the word OLD:



Devaluation (or Dissatisfaction, or Diminishment)

We often say that someone is old before their time.  When, exactly, is the right time to get old? 

When I see my first wrinkle?

When I experience the first death in my family? How about the 10th?

When I begin to think…is this all there is?

When the day comes when I really start believing that this is all there is?

Old is rigid.  Old is defeated.  Old is lethargic, weary, and burnt out.  Old is suffering.  Old is knowing all there is to know. Whether you are 18, 28, 58, or 98…there’s never enough time to get old.

Nothing is as sad as a young person who has learned how to think old.  Think old thoughts, you are old.

Nothing is as sad as an old person who refuses to think young…or who refuses to learn how.  Think young thoughts, you are young.

Don’t Ever Get Old. 

Good Contrarian that I AM, I utilize Contemplative Writing to question everything. This exercise revealed her statement as a declaration of truth. 

Thanks, Mother…for gifting us with Words to Live By. 

If you find value in this post, please share it.

Check out An Elegant Mind’s Handbook for more deep-dive ideas. And here’s
a gift for you…if you purchase the book, I invite you to contact me on my
website and let me know you have purchased
it. I will send you SKY MIND, a free guided meditation that I created to get
you in the Contemplative Writing mindset!


Published by Paula D. Tozer

I am a writer, poet and singer/songwriter. I am a Toastmaster, motivational speaker, personal creativity coach, and workshop leader. My most sincere wish is to share my words with others, and that we both benefit from the exchange.

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