Life is a gift, we’re told. Cherish it.
That’s true, to a point. We enter the world as a wailing infant, with no thought or expectation, other than, “feed me!” And, we often leave the world in a similar state, if we’ve lived long enough to suffer the benefits of old age.
From Joan Baez, “You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.”
I latched onto the word “decide” when deciding to write this post: Decide to live – fully and happily – Now!
It’s not as hard as you think. Yes, we’re conditioned to get old. We’re conditioned to believe there is an end to our life, even as we keep breathing. But, you can decide not to believe that.
Our life, according to the society we live in, ends when we retire. Sometimes a bit before, if you’re a woman. Women are viewed as less than acceptable when they lose their looks. And, that loss is subjective. I will write about it another time, for now, remember that a wrinkle here and there will never keep a woman from her full potential. And, many of us don’t reach that full potential until society thinks it’s done with us.
It’s time to stand up and shout, “I’m not done yet!”
It’s time to throw the old notions of aging and vibrant living out the window, give them a proper burial, throw dirt on them, a lot of dirt.
We folks of a certain age are not going to go sit in the corner, no matter what society tells us.
We folks of a certain age are here for a long, long time. We’re vibrant and alive and not leaving anytime soon.
The key here is our decision to live. Long life is a choice. It’s a conscious decision – deciding to be strong and healthy and lucid. It’s deciding to continue being who we are for a hundred years, perhaps. Perhaps more than a hundred years.
It’s not always easy. What is?
Happily, I can say that those of us who have chosen the decision to live long and happily, bring a great deal of quality experience, intelligence, and insight to our communities.
In A Case for Rebranding the Older Worker, Marian Salzman writes
“The Kauffman Foundation found that three-quarters of all new entrepreneurs are between the ages of 35 and 64, with the highest percentage age 45 or older. And the age of Nobel Prize winners when making a discovery averaged around 38 in 2000, representing an increase of six years since 1900.”
“As The New York Times puts it, “There is [good] reason to keep innovators around longer: the time it takes between the birth of an idea and when its implications are broadly understood and acted upon. This education process is typically driven by the innovators themselves.”
I tend to hesitate to use that word “innovators” as it’s become rather cliche, in my opinion. It’s overused and no longer means what it did. An innovator is a true bricoleur, someone who makes magic with old boxes and string. Someone who sees a problem and finds a new solution. Someone who believes the Susan B. Anthony quote, “Failure is not an option.”
In that definition, we folks of that certain age have more hands-on experience than any other. Our creativity is at a peak, right now. It’s going up and up and up, because we are not afraid, as we once were, to let it soar. Those days when we were forced to pull back on creativity and told to reign ourselves in, are gone and best forgotten.
Today, creativity is inherent in our every day thinking. We have made the decision to give our creative selves the platform life denied us, in our youth.
And the platform is life itself. We are a force to be reckoned with! We are choosing to be fully alive and healthy and strong. We plan on living a long and fully engaged life, with purpose, and accomplishment, and joy.
Our 100+ Life community is open to all. It launches in the spring. It’s a safe place for all voices to be heard. Bring yours to talk about, teach, learn, and share stories of the human spirit and how it can decide to live fully and happily, now!