(Click on the age group you want to skip straight to the quotes.)
Depending where we are on the time-line of life and what we think about being there, we may not be entirely welcoming of our new status.
The quotes span the spectrum of thoughts and feelings associated with gaining years. You'll find some wise, others witty and wry, but all offer an insight into the characteristics of the milestone they mark.
"At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; and at 40 the judgement."
"Live as long as you may. The first twenty years are the longest half of your life."
"At twenty-one, so many things appear solid, permanent, untenable."
"It is through the idealism of youth that man catches sight of truth,
and in that idealism he possesses a wealth which he must never exchange
for anything else."
"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could
hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be
twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he had learned in seven years."
"Youth has no age."
"At 20, everything is possible and tomorrow looks friendly."
"Everything I know I learned after I was thirty."
"Time and Tide wait for no man, but time always stands still for a woman of thirty."
"Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart."
"After 30, a body has a mind of its own."
"Thirty five is a very attractive age; London society is full of women
who have of their own free choice remained thirty-five for years."
"When you turn thirty, a whole new thing happens: you see yourself acting like you parents."
"Women deserve to have more than twelve years between the ages of twenty eight and forty."
"Life begins at forty."
W. B. Pitkin
"The lovely thing about being forty is that you can appreciate twenty-five-year-old men."
"You're not forty, you're eighteen, with twenty-two years worth of experience."
"What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of forty is simply a loss of energy."
"This wine is forty years old. It certainly doesn't show its age."
"The first forty years of life give us the text: the next thirty supply the commentary."
"Every man over forty is a scoundrel."
George Bernard Shaw
"Be wise with speed: A fool at forty is a fool indeed."
"Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age."
"When I passed forty I dropped pretense, ‘cause men like women who got some sense."
"Nature gives you the face you have at twenty, but it's up to you to merit the face you have at fifty."
"The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always
being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn
"Looking fifty is great - if you're sixty."
"At age fifty, everyone has the face he deserves."
"The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life."
"From birth to age eighteen, a girl needs good parents. From eighteen
to thirty-five, she needs good looks. From thirty-five to fifty-five,
she needs a good personality. From fifty-five on, she needs good cash."
"A man of sixty has spent twenty years in bed and over three years in eating."
"One starts to get young at the age of sixty and then it is too late."
"I'm sixty years of age. That's 16 Celsius."
"Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young."
"What I wouldn't give to be seventy again!"
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
"At seventy-seven it is time to be earnest."
"You know you are getting old when the candles cost more than the cake."
"Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest."
Reverend Larry Lorenzoni
"Age is not measured by years. Nature does not equally distribute
energy. Some people are born old and tired while others are going strong
"A man over ninety is a great comfort to all his elderly neighbors: he
is a picket-guard at the extreme outpost; and the young folks of sixty
and seventy feel that the enemy must get by him before he can come near
Oliver Wendell Holmes
"The advantage of being eighty years old is that one has many people to love."
"In a dream you are never eighty."
"Each ten years of a man's life has its own fortunes, its own hopes, its own desires."
"Once I was looking through the kitchen window at dusk and I saw an
old woman looking in. Suddenly the light changed and I realized that the
old woman was myself. You see, it all happens on the outside; inside
one doesn't change."
"The first hundred years are the hardest."
"I still have a full deck; I just shuffle slower now."
"Youth is the gift of nature, but age is the work of art."
"My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends - It gives a lovely light!"
Edna St. Vincent Millay
"There are days of oldness, and then one gets young again."
Katherine Butler Hathaway
"A friendship counting nearly forty years is the finest kind of shade-tree I know."
James Russell Lowell
"We grow too soon old and too late smart."
Pennsylvania Dutch proverb
"An old man loved is winter with flowers."
"Friendship is the shadow of the evening, which strengthens with the setting sun of life."
Jean De La Fontaine
"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."
"A diamond cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials."
"Old age: A great sense of calm and freedom. When the passions have
relaxed their hold, you may have escaped, not from one master but from
"One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of
fellowship with other human beings as we take our place among them."
"Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds."
If you haven't found the perfect quotation yet try these: