Do you ever ask yourself why we get older? Why do we continue to live for decades after our “productive” years end?
As our bodies lose their physical strength and mental sharpness, why do we continue? These are fascinating questions and, as we will discover, they get at the essence of what it means to find meaning in life after 60.
An old friend of mine from over a decade asked me to dance the other night. I have danced Argentine tango for over 20 years. However, each time a beautiful and elegant dancer asks me to dance, I am honored and full of anticipation and joy. I also wanted those next four tangos to be danced perfectly.
You look around yourself at work. Every new hire is well under the age of 30 and the number of co-workers in their 50s and 60s seems to be rapidly vanishing. As you get into your 60s, you can’t help but wonder, “Am I next?”
How old is really old?
Apparently, the answer depends on the age of the person responding to the question.
I remember watching In Time, a movie with Justin Timberlake, a few years ago and pondering a world where everyone looks 18. In the film, Justin’s character, Will Salas, lives in a society in which the rich have reversed the aging process and can, effectively, live forever.
In Time is mostly about class struggle, but, it was the social implications of reversing aging that I found fascinating.
How would you describe being 60 years old in 2 words? That was the deceptively simple question that I recently asked the women in our Sixty and Me community. Why “deceptively simple?” Because, shorter definitions are often the hardest to give. As Mark Twain once said, “I would have written a shorter letter but I didn’t have the time.”
When we were kids growing up, my sister was the cute one. She had it all. The button nose, the big beautiful hazel eyes, long lashes, rosebud mouth and the capper, freckles. She had THE most adorable spray of freckles across her nose – which she hated and I loved! I would have given anything for those freckles. Anything to break up the monotony of my pasty white face.
Sometimes, as we age, our true essence can begin to fade. A life that was once vibrant and grand can become subdued and pale. You continue on, day by day, with what needs to done and, in many ways, you feel like you are just going through the motions. When this happens, your spirit feels diminished.
Why is it that so many women, once they reach a certain age (usually taken to be about 50), allow themselves to sink into grannydom; yet again, living within the expectations of others.