I’ve always has a “so-what” approach to getting older. In my youth, I did all those foolhardy things we are warned to avoid – I drank to much, I partied all night and I never went sunbathing without first dowsing myself in virgin olive oil to make sure I got a deep brown. How foolish was I? The answer is very foolish indeed.
Who was it that said they wished they could get to the top of the stairs before they forgot why they wanted to go up there the first place? No, I don’t remember either, but the first three words of that sentence are kind of becoming the leitmotif for my life.
Let’s face it. After the “Over the Hill” birthday cards, banners and party favors begin at age 50, the onslaught of terms used to describe the universal process of getting older – well, really suck.
Getting older was something that I always heard the women in my family talk about. They discussed how awful the “change” was and said that life would never be the same again. It was always a very sad and disappointing topic.
When we are younger, our birthdays are milestones for largely superficial reasons. Maybe we look forward to turning 21 so that we can, officially, go out drinking with our friends. Perhaps we fear turning 30… or 40… or 50 because of the new wrinkles that each decade brings.
Bridget and I once lived on a little island in the English Channel. We did all the usual things. We got married and had children. Between us, we had various projects, like founding a prep school and running an estate agency. We even wrote a TV cartoon series and founded IVA (International Virtual Assistants).
Why do we live in the past? Why don’t we look forward to whatever years we have left? Is it because we know we’re going to die? If so, I can’t think of a better reason to enjoy our lives and keep planning for the future. We should never stop dreaming, dancing, laughing and learning.
In some ways, getting older is easier for celebrities like George Clooney. With an army of nutritionists, personal trainers and financial advisors following them around, they have the resources to get the most from life after 60.