Too Old To Dream?

In the mid-thirties, The Night Is Young, a movie with Nelson Eddy and Irene Dunne, featured the song “When I Grow Too Old To Dream.” I suspect that most of you reading this will remember that song. I was a mere babe in arms at the time, but I know the song from having heard it over the years by various artists, including my parents.

That song floated through my thoughts the other day as I approach my birthday, and I decided Romberg and Hammerstein had those words all wrong!

The textbook out of which I taught a Human Development course at Hawai’i Community College categorizes the “young old” as 65 to 74, the “old old” as 75 to 84 and the “oldest old” as 85 and above. I won’t discuss my calendar age here, although I do admit to being over 65! In terms of the great site Real Age,  my physical age is about 10 years younger than my calendar age. Another fascinating site is Living to 100 where I learned that based on my health and lifestyle, I will live to 104, and with a couple of minor changes, I could increase that to 108.

So do you think I am too old to dream? Are any of us ever too old to dream?

I don’t intend to stop dreaming until they sprinkle my ashes over the ocean. And who knows? Maybe I won’t stop dreaming even after that.

Please! Let us not stop dreaming, just because we think we might be “too old to dream.” The world is full of dreams just waiting for someone with our talents, our openness, our persistence, our love – no matter our age.

Just for fun, here is the front of the old sheet music for the song.

A hui hou!

8 thoughts on “Too Old To Dream?”

  1. I think you will get a lot of people reading this blog saying this but HELL NO, you’re NEVER too old to dream. You are the perfect of example of not letting age stop you from anything. I recently may a very tiny step towards crone-hood. And When I think about aging I think I want to be Lucy when I grow up. You never seem to lose you passion for life and in a large part that is because you never stop dreaming, and more importantly you never stop believing you can reach those dreams.

    1. Oh, Kate! You brought tears to my eyes! Working with college students has been the primary factor in never allowing myself to be “elderly” but to be among the “young old!” 🙂 I’m full-time faculty for UH-HCC and I love it. When summer comes, I can tell the difference in my attitude because I’m not around my students! You were certainly a part of that for me at UA! I think everyone should make a rendezvous here in Hawaii sometime! Aloha nui loa!

  2. I agree with Kate above….HELL, NO….
    In age I’m way over the hump between ‘young old’ and ‘old old’ and fast reaching the ‘old old’ mark…. but in my mind I’m still very young and think I can still do anything I set my mind to do….
    I still have dreams of things I wan to accomplish…..and my list of ‘To Try’ recipes and other things I want to accomplish is too long for me to stop now….

    1. Kate was one of my students at the University of Arizona in Tucson when I was there. She has known me many years and has seen me get “younger” every year. 🙂 Like you, I have too many recipes to try, too many more books to write, too much traveling to do. My great grandmother was a role model for me. She used to tell me that she would rather “wear out than rust out.” It’s an old saying, but a true one for those of us who are on the cusp of those “old” categories! I think more and more people are aging slower and slower, and enjoying it more!

  3. AMEN……….Mine seems to be a matriarchal family – on both sides….My Cuban grandmother lived to be 94 and was active everyd ay in her life….my American grandmother died at 88 and was the same – we used to say her middle name was Go… – my mom died just before reaching 94….and my American Great-grandmother was also in her 90’s…. So if I follow in their genetic footsteps, I too might live a few more years and don’t plan to just sit and vegetate… 😉

    The men don’t seem to last as long for some reason…

  4. happy birthday 39 again.? love you dear and I need a role model for older . since Steve died in Nov at 87 I have been struggling with the 2 cars 2 houses and what direction to go at 81. I see that you think of me a young and maybe I am but still do not know how to use a smart phone. and do I want to go to Mazatlan with all the kids in dec for a week? we had been doing this in Daves condo . we did not go 2020. also want to change my name to Miriam as Steve called me. I am doing meditation twice a week with the Rabbi on zoom and unitarians on sunday. I do not have an good intentional direction for my life yet. maybe soon. my old Ponderosa trees in the mts are dead and I am waiting for the 8 of them to be taken out. I will go up again to the Sierras to see after Sam is here visiting and doing an interview for dental school Oct 9th. since no son is here I feel less connected ..I do my yard and clean house of a sort but no zing.. oh I go to Denver at xmas and I plan on getting a dog in jan…an older dog like me. hugs to you and you dear friends….

    1. I dreams much last night of childhood areas in Philly. I left there 60 years ago but the dreams are so real.

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