If you think about it, life is all about movement. Rocks don’t move by themselves. Trees barely move. Animals move, although they tend to be directed by instinct more than conscious thought. Only humans, so far as we know, have the ability to plan complex actions. Simply put, we are the only species on this planet that can reinvent itself.
Why do I bring this up now? Because, it occurs to me that life after 60 is the one time in our lives when we are asked to stop growing and learning.
Unlike other transitions in our lives – from girl to woman, woman to wife, wife to mother, mother to grandmother, our “later years” are expected to be something static and unmoving. And, since life is all about movement, we are, in effect, asked to get ready to die.
It’s depressing to think about life after 60 this way, but, this really is how society looks at it.
There are many opinions in the world about how to experience healthy aging. Many people focus on what you should (or shouldn’t) eat. Others insist that social interaction is the key to staying happy and healthy after 60. Still others believe that exercise is the secret. I even heard one centergenerian claim that “having a whisky every evening” was the key to eternal youth.
For me, the answer is simple. Since starting Sixty and Me, I have come to believe that the secret to healthy aging is to keep moving.
By this, I don’t just mean that you should get plenty of exercise. I mean that you should continue to reinvent yourself every day. You should look for new sources of intellectual, physical and spiritual stimulation. You should embrace life. The second you stop moving, you start getting old.
I was reminded about this phenomenon this morning when I came across a quote by Ralph Lauren. He said:
“The world is open to us and each day is an occasion to reinvent ourselves.”
In fact, I liked this quote so much that I printed it out and pinned it to my fridge.
I don’t know about you, but, every morning, I wake up so grateful for the opportunities that this life has given me. I just hope that I have the strength to keep moving – to keep reinventing myself – every day between now and the time that I leave this world behind.
How have you reinvented yourself recently? What one thing would you like to improve about your life? Please join the conversation.