Reading this - The Joy of Old Age (No Kidding) by Oliver Sacks, a wonderfully upbeat treatise on aging - led me to investigate my own age-appropriate element. On the Periodic Table of Elements my age, 67, corresponds to the rare-earth metal Holmium (Ho). Silvery white in color, somewhat soft and malleable with unusual magnetic properties, Holmium was discovered in 1878 in Switzerland and named after Holmia, the Greek word for Sweden (all of which makes me feel rather transcontinental). It oxidizes rapidly in moist air and at elevated temperatures, which certainly explains my sudden wilting in the current heat wave the Northeast is experiencing.
Though only the edges of my hair are turning silvery white, I fit the description of somewhat soft and malleable. I am still jiggly in places that never used to move on their own despite the garden, house, and yard work I document here and I've always been easy to persuade concerning things about which I don't already hold firm opinions. (Even then, there's wiggle room, else what's an open mind for?) I like being considered rare, and the magnetic properties explain nicely why I'm attracted to relationships with, say, catbirds or people that seem to be my polar opposite.
Next year I shall be erbium (Er). Also soft and malleable, erbium has a silvery, metallic luster (I like the sound of that) and, while it is another rare-earth metal, its properties depend to an extent on impurities present where it is found. Considered a fairly stable metal (it doesn't oxidize as rapidly as Ho), it was named after Ytterby, a village in Sweden. Now I'm off to discover if any of my forebears lived in Sweden. There's no end to the discoveries one can make about oneself.