As summer turns to fall, many of us are reminded of our youth, when September meant going back to classes and setting goals for the new school year. Even though our classroom days are mostly in the past, developing new ambitions every few months is a great idea.
When we reach 60, 70 or 80 we are surprised we got here so quickly. We meant to make investment plans and take better care of ourselves along the way. What happened to the last 40 years? It’s scary, this aging thing.
As a child, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you aspire to be a teacher, doctor, musician or something else? When I was six, I wanted to be an actress.
In 2017, Road Scholar, the not-for-profit educational travel organization, has initiated an exciting new social media movement designed to invite the world to think differently about growing older.
My great-aunt Esther, who lived to be 89, often lamented, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I would have recovered my chairs 20 years ago!” That expression has inspired me to live my dreams now, whether the dream is to get a pedicure, go on a trip, or build a new home.
Everyone has the capacity to appreciate the simple joy of being alive. It is the delight you feel from the view of a spectacular sunset, the sound of a beautiful piece of music or the smile of a loved one. It is an experience of natural richness.
The phrase, “Follow your bliss,” was famously said by the author, Joseph Campbell. It seems like one of those New Age truisms that we respond to with, “Sounds nice, but who can afford to do that? Rock stars? Celebrities? Very rich people?”
You’d think that, after 60, we wouldn’t have a reason to compare ourselves with others. After all, we’ve already led full lives so why aren’t we comfortable in our own skin?
We’ve all watched television shows, read articles and consumed books telling us how to make changes in our lives. Bookstore shelves are filled with self-help books that promise “the answer” to whatever problem we have. Large sections are dedicated to the best and latest diet program anyone would need.