Aha moment! ...some are noticeably YOUNGER THAN I AM. It's not like my aging is unexpected. Seventy something is seventy some years. Elderly is another category, or at least I'm choosing to think so.
Mature, senior, ancient, venerable, long-in-the-tooth, old-as-the-hills, older-than-dirt, gray-haired, grizzled, hoary, past one's prime, decrepit, doddering, senile, no spring chicken... Obviously, there are few good adjectives for this stage of life. Out of all these, I pick venerable. Although it means honored, esteemed, it still implies aging and perhaps vulnerability.
A friend of mine who is 83 believes that "older" is always 10-15 years older than your age. Which means that we would NEVER have to consider ourselves old or elderly.
So for all of us who are ten to fifteen years from being "elderly," I offer this:
Let us never know what old age is.
Let us know the happiness time brings, not count the years.
The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age,
which means never losing your enthusiasm.
When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable.
There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.
So we do not lose heart.
Though our outer self is wasting away,
our inner self is being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16