EMERGING is the “New Older”.
A startling new older individual is appearing from the mist. Out of the fog of what we think are our limitations as we age. A “new older” is reported each day creating well into the age of “80” years and beyond.
Is this surprising? Just think when you say to yourself, “I don’t feel 55 or 65 or 85. I’m still 18 inside”. Don’t let the Age Police (representing society and media) catch you thinking that out loud.
Yes Ageism exists. Yes there is age discrimination. That’s old news. Let’s get on with recognizing and understanding more about those that successfully soar above that false framework.
Inspiring 90-year-old individuals I have met, reveal to me their “teflonesque” character. They slough off the notion that they should be frozen where they stand. They continue to live life. They write. Volunteer. Many are discovering how to get paid for their experience. (More about in my next post) These "new older" engage daily in their lives to enthusiastically help other lives. Live each day with a remarkable type of "age valor". Betty at 100 writes her children’s books. Tom at 95 still coaches to his former students that are now CEO’s of companies. Loretta at age 93 still teaches children to play the piano. Evidence of the unbeatable power of Wisdom is being re-discovered in apprenticeship classes offered by state governments like Connecticut Department of Labor, community colleges such as Seattle Central College and many others. Harnessing the life experience of the “new older” to aid in creating the new.
It’s not just the extension of life expectancy. It’s the exciting expectation that you can now receive the rewards of using your powers of experience in contributing and interacting with others. Imagine being valued in truly new ways as you age. We have much work to do, but we are going to discover a new value system for the new older.
Each day another member of the “new older” is quietly ripping away another piece of society’s and the media notion that strictly defined being older. John Cleese of Monty Python at age 77 is still touring and entertaining. The Rolling Stones. More importantly the continuing efforts by thousands of others you never heard of. Like Ron Mathis* a race car designer whose team won the X-Prize team for a new car that gets 100 miles to the gallon.
Be encouraged. A new time is upon us. One that avoids the fatal definitions of retirement. Even what we called “The Rest Home” or “Happy Vale” are being re-imagined to be more active and satisfying. And with good riddance. You can see this model alive in the soon to be renamed Senior Living Centers.
It’s time to roll up our sleeves and dust off the staid precepts. Believe you me there’s plenty of new ideas that need to come to life, just to trigger better self esteem. It’s time to write new narratives. New stories. And yes you can be kind to those who still declare they are too old to be of worth, but for me they need to go take a hike.
Having lost my Dad to cigarettes at age 60, it emboldens me to honor the years he lost by the hope to possibly a light a path to good health for those that are older.
A whole new set of individuals are arriving daily. New archetypes that will encourage others. It’s time for you to believe again. Shifting the perception of how you see yourself is utterly life changing. Starting practicing. And practice again to see that little hopeful soul when you were a kid. It’s still there. Lift off the stones and boulders of self-esteem. Your zeal. Your joy. Your purpose is ready to emerge.
You don’t have to make a grand entrance. The best of us, quietly step up without fanfare. If you still feel as though you are lost in a fog. Get out there and learn about something new. Maybe that one something you thought you weren’t allowed to do. Do that first. For me, I’m off to get busy. But if I see you, I’ll be proud to shake your hand.