There’s Room for Humor, But Aging Isn’t a Joke


Your aging is what you make it.

Indeed, aging isn’t a joke.

When you’re busy and stressed, feeling like you have slowed down is difficult.

Getting things done is a challenge that can be heightened as we adjust, each of us, to our own aging processes.

So, how do you adjust to aging?  Is it an issue that you grapple with?

How about when others weigh in with humor?

Aging, humor, and others

Here’s a timely question that we recently received from a reader in St. Louis:

Dear Paula,

I’ve noticed that I’m slower, when it comes to my everyday tasks, and I’m working to accept that. Your tips have helped, and I especially appreciate the creative ideas for new ways to get things done.

The only time I get depressed is when my adult children visit. They notice my diminished capacity and sometimes comment on it ‘lightly.’ I know they are joking, but it still hurts, and I often feel angry and depressed after they leave. What do you suggest?


Martha J.

And here’s my response…

Dear Martha,

Thanks for your question. You’re dealing with a common problem, and the fact that it’s common means there’s a lot of shared wisdom about how to cope.  And that’s not to diminish the fact that the challenges we each face in this area have their own very individual flavors, as well.

The key is to shift your own focus away from what others express and back to how you experience your current situation. That is where all of your power lies.

Feelings are key…

Ask yourself how you feel about how you are managing this life transition.

  • Are there things you’d like to be able to do more quickly?  Maybe you can address that.
  • Are there ways that your new pace feels comfortable and even enjoyable to you?

When you are grounded in your own feelings and experience, the comments that others make will feel less like criticisms or ‘pronouncements’ and more like what they are:  comments.

Aging isn’t a joke, but…

You can also work to take your ego out of the equation and focus on the humor. Recognize the teasing for what it is. It sounds like it is an attempt to lovingly acknowledge something that they may be struggling with, too.

And if you are comfortable doing it, you might try responding to their humor with your own joke.

On the other hand, if you are not comfortable with the banter, deflect the comments with a smile and a truthful response.

Truth never hurts…

You might also choose to share honestly about changes you have noticed in yourself.  As noted above, sometimes humor is a cover for uneasiness. So, an honest conversation might be a relief for everyone.

The more fully you accept your reality, the less you will feel knocked off course if someone teases you.  You can starve self-pity by validating yourself and all that you accomplish, despite the changes or setbacks you face.

It is important to see the glass half full.  After all, aging is the best alternative.

Warmest regards,


More help for you…

Retirement marks a profound shift in how you spend your time. It can be very unsettling, and it also offers rich opportunities. Grounded in your own truth, you’ll make more satisfying plans and choices as you move into this transition because they’ll be congruent with your values.

Ready to start planning? Click HERE to sign up for your complimentary Heart-Based Retirement Planner today.

Let’s explore time together …


  1. Aging IS the best alternative! Well said, Paula!

    Other thoughts are to visibly roll your eyes in front of your kids, tell them it hurts your feelings when they say that, or acknowledge it with, “I KNOW! That’s why I’ve been waiting for YOU to come over and do it for me!” Whatever makes Martha feel better about the situation AND helps her kids be more thoughtful will work. xo

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