Several days a week, I visit the local Dunkin’s. My purpose of going is to purchase a coffee roll for a loved-one unable to go themselves. I ask for the Senior discount because I’d rather give the workers the extra tip. When I ask, I smile and say, “I’m an Oldie but goodie.” The response is a chuckle or grin.
I mean it. I’m old but not obsolete, and neither is anyone reading this article.
60 may not be the new 40, but hope, inspiration, and zest, could provide dazzling opportunities in second, maybe third, flowerings of life.
Consider fickle plants. Years ago, I left a job to pursue a self-employment path. My colleagues gifted me with a braided Ficus tree, a finicky specimen that prefers stillness over movement. Well, it endured a ride to my condo, and one cannot help maneuvering the pedals of brake and gas while driving. My friend and I delivered the tree to the second floor, and the haughty greenery seemed to settle into its new home.
Within a couple of weeks, the recent visitor became insolent and dropped her leaves. Every single one of them with an Oomph.
My response? I waited for her to bloom again, and I continued to wait. Unfortunately, the plant remained in its naked state, and soon, I decided enough and cut her up.
After my undertaking, many people informed me the Ficus might have flourished again if forbearance persevered. Would the second showing be less glorious? Perhaps, but who knows?
I learned my lesson, and many years later, patience prevailed for my beloved orchids. They rewarded me with second and even third showings.
Why am I discussing plants? For Baby Boomers and generations following us, this couldn’t be more significant.
As I wrote in my last article, The Miracle of Living Now, medical innovation provides greater opportunities for health and wellbeing. But, there’s more, as the December 19th edition of the Wall Street Journal points out in an essay, Golden-Year Grooves. The article discusses the musicians who continue rocking and rolling like it’s 1999.
The WSJ reports that Brenda Lee’s 65-year-old song, Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Although she’s not dancing around the world stage, her song is prompting others to do so. Not only that, many of our aging singers are.
Did you see that photo of 77-year-old Dolly Parton singing in youthful attire? Most of us wouldn’t get away with it, but she could, and she did. This year, she released a new album of rock classics that landed on the Billboard Album Chart at number three.
Peter Gabriel, now 73, emerged after 20years with his first LP.
In 2023, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, and Madonna remained in demand for their concert appearances. Two septuagenarians and a sexagenarian, how about that?
The octogenarian Bob Dylan, now 82, won’t let his younger peers outdo him, as he continues touring.
The realm of movies and streaming also continue providing opportunities for aging adults. Although older women are still in the backseat, changes are happening. Harrison Ford, age 81, Sylvester Stallone, age 77, Kevin Costner, almost 69, Helen Mirren, 78, and Meryl Streep, age 74, are just a few of those not stopping.
Once upon a time, these older adults would’ve been long gone.
Some might scoff, saying they have the means and the money. I concur. However, rather than envy or dismiss, I prefer to see them as trailblazers and role models for the rest of us.
I revisit the theme of my mother, who retired at 70, but one year later, she returned to employment. At age 81, her body riddled with cancer, worked until they closed the program, and she left this earthly life months later. People challenged her desire to work in the twilight of her life, and she planned on using Betty White as an example.
She left nine years ago, and I bet these celebrated changes are making her smile from afar. I miss her, but I embrace her spunk and desire as encouragement for my own endeavors.
I hear her say, “You go, girl,” and with tears pooling, I smile back and blow a kiss.
Are there some things we need to relinquish?
You bet. Last summer, I attended an event that required more formal wear. I still owned this 25-year-old gorgeous coral two-piece dress and tried it on. Snug, but I could get away with it. I showed my husband. He looked at me and agreed it fit, but he stated what I knew. Too old for that dress. My eyes roamed to my once-upon-a time defined but now less sculpted, crinkled arms, laughed, and told him he was right.
I accept certain changes that reinforce 60 isn’t the new 40. Fatigue sets in sooner. Forgetfulness happens more than at 40, and my feet hurt, preventing me from walking on the treadmill like a roadrunner. All of this requires modifications, but as long as I have a working mind with ideas rolling around, I will continue. If someone says I’m too old. I’ll take a page from Dickens’ Scrooge.
Are you an oldie but goodie? Do you believe there’s some venture awaiting your unwrapping and exploration? Anything or anyone holding you back? I invite you to share.
Tags Getting Older