A Way of Looking at Ageing

1. The amusing aspect of ageing is in words, not numbers. Consider rebel and repel as magnetic poles that attract or repulse, for instance! This change in meaning, not because of the natural evolution of word usage but a typographical error, can ignite a fervent discussion.

2. My siblings’ children are having children of their own. The word gran is uttered often. And I meticulously browse through the dictionary to uncover reasons behind my new status, each time I hear it. Memory fails me, just as the lexicon. “What if you simply call me by my first name?” I ask. A radical suggestion in a culture that puts respect for elders high on the list.

3. A deficiency in language production is observed in older adults. Yet, the idea of creating my unique language fills me with excitement. I practice grace with words.

4. At a friend’s place, we discover grace is a nuanced word. A theist takes us down a supernatural path. A gym rat proclaims, “Dumbbells are my church!” To pacify, for we’ve all found new religions, I confess poetry as my church.

5. Gracefully, an adverb to capture our relaxed and confident ways as we age, is what we are aiming for.

6. On dining out. A waiter with impressive biceps flashes a smile at me and says, “Sexy Chick.” Feeling flattered, I flutter my mascaraed eyelashes and say, “Oh, thank you!”

7. One friend, with a trace of smugness in her voice, places her manicured fingernail on the menu, and where ingredients of the sexy chick dish are elaborately explained. The other friend bursts into laughter, prompting an urgent dash to the bathroom. I grin as I contemplate who is having the last laugh, now.

8. Ageing is a blessing, growing up is optional.

9. Middle age can feel like a crossroads or a crisis, as chicks fly the nest and parents demand care. I write to a friend. And she responds, “There’s no need to jump off the building yet. Our small town offers three powerful remedies to ease mental distress: a hardware store, a liquor store and a pharmacy, one is bound to work.”

10. Life is beautiful—

11. It’s true, life becomes more beautiful as I age. Of course, that was before I got new prescription glasses.

12. I ponder the best way of looking at ageing. With or without glasses?

13. Maybe one way of looking is with friends. You can always remind each other not to take yourselves too seriously.

Birthday cake with candles. Photo by Caterina Berger on Unsplash

Happy October, Good People! I celebrated another birthday at the beginning of the month. And I’m navigating the delicate balance between humour and darkness, autumn’s delicate dance. 🙂

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. Happy October too Khaya. And hopefully your new age is packed with enormous growth. Cheers 🥂

  2. Happiest of birthdays dear Khaya. Life is indeed beautiful. I pray you live to see many more wonderful years. As you say: “growing up is optional”—do you and enjoy the process!!

  3. Happiest of birthdays to you, Khaya! Celebrate well 💕💕 May October continue to grace this Autumn season with a vibrant love.

  4. Happy shared birthday month, Khaya…does that make us ‘sus’ in spirit?! My dear October Poet, remember there are those of us that are always older than yourself…and continue to be ‘amused’ by aging!

  5. Happy birthday! I liked all of these, but the 13th was the best (LOL, and I’m not just saying that because I like the number 13).

  6. Happy Birthday to you! 🎉

    I really enjoy your writing. Love this: “I practice grace with words.”

  7. “‘What if you simply call me by my first name?’ I ask” 🤣🤣🤣 We’re on the same page. I’ve always said if my girls have children, they shall simply call me KG, no pretense necessary here lol

  8. First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Khaya! May you dance your way through your celebration until you hit the next milestone in 2024! 🥳🎈🎉 I love your post, while comical it brings on a very mature level of consciousness. What a reality check my dear logophile/lexiphile!

    Love this:
    11. It’s true, life becomes more beautiful as I age. Of course, that was before I got new prescription glasses. 🧐👓🤓

  9. Many thanks, my ‘sus’ in spirit! 🙂 Happy birth month (and birthday) to you, too. I hope you’re enjoy your special day, and prioritizing yourself this month. Much love. 💕💕

  10. Lol, Sexy Chick dish really got me! 😀 I’m so glad this piece made you smile. Keep smiling and enjoying the season! <3

  11. Hey Michele, I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this piece. Thank you for reading and birthday wishes, too. Much appreciated!

  12. Girl! The new prescription glasses… 😀 Many thanks my friend, I appreciate every word. And I shall continue dancing my way to the next milestone. <3 <3

  13. Happy October to you too, Cynthia. And many thanks for birthday greeting, much appreciated. I’m also glad you find this piece fun and interesting. 🙂 Enjoy the season!

  14. Happiest birthday to you, Khaya! Your post truly resonates with me. After recent events, I find myself reflective about what aging means to me, taking stock in where I am right now. You perspectives here bring me joy, and I hope I can apply them to myself.

  15. Many thanks, Christina! I’m happy to hear this piece resonates and that it brings you joy. Please feel free to take and apply accordingly, even though I think you are way too young to worry about ageing. 😀 Of course, taking stock now and again (and have fun while at it) is always a good thing. <3

  16. Happy Belated Birthday. Wonderful post. And there are no mistakes, “Sexy Chick” was not a misstep, the world is simply slow sometimes.

  17. Khaya, a beautiful dance of contemplation – a deft touch of wisdom mingled with light humour! I love how you write ‘I practice grace with words.’ – words that reach into my heart. A belated Happy Birthday and hope it’s been a very special one for you! Enjoy the world with & without glasses – it can be good to have a dual aspect upon it!

    BTW, I loved your latest newsletter email and your poem was incredible and moving! Happy Travels, my friend! xx

  18. Annika, I’m touched that you found both this piece and my latest newsletter meaningful. Thank you so much for reading, and your support always. And yes, I continue to celebrate my birthday with and without the glasses, and as I travel. 😀 Wishing you a wonderful late autumn! xx <3

  19. Lovely, Khaya. I am hopefully aging gracefully (that’s the goal anyway). 🙂 I love this: “Maybe one way of looking is with friends. You can always remind each other not to take yourselves too seriously.” Laughter and kindness are my mantras for this time of life. Hugs, my friend.

  20. I’m with you on laughter and kindness; we can’t go wrong with these in the mix. Here’s to aging gracefully! Much love, my friend. <3

  21. Wishing you a belated happy birthday, Khaya! I enjoyed reading your reflections on ageing. With age comes both many blessings and many new things to be aware of. I am there now, seeing less road ahead of me than what is behind me. Gracefully navigating the remainder of the journey and incorporating as much light and laughter as is possible is my own goal.

  22. Thank you for the birthday wishes, Lavinia. Much appreciated. <3 Here's to much light and laughter as is possible, and as we age!

Do leave a trace!