True or False?
Sometimes song titles can be inspirational in providing ideas for relevant articles on the question of “Evolving vs Aging”.
So why would a BB King song be such an inspiration? From what I see, it summarises the experience of many who get past the retirement euphoria and are now faced with the reality of “long time coming and direction unknown”.
This massive albeit later, phase of life is a huge part of our human existence, yet many of us forget to see it as a major part of who we are.
There is a tendency to follow the conditioning targeting our market and live accordingly, with limited expectations of growth if any at all.
All of the exercise programs offered or senior services provided are no doubt excellent in concept and form, but tend to make certain presumptions due to our age. Prepare, is the message. Things will happen in this phase that may not necessarily be pleasant or unexpected. After all, you are old, period. So what else would you expect other than age related issues?
However, age related issues are part of our life from birth. Whether it’s childhood illnesses, teen growth or what have you, it’s all age related. Life is age related. We don’t fold as we grow from age related conditions, so why fold now and not continue to evolve?
Best to see this stage for what it is, i.e. part of the tapestry we call life and this exciting time is just another part of said tapestry. We all have something in common from birth which is that none of us know what our life span will be. Best to say, we have all the time there is.
Attitude is everything. As Zig Ziglar once said, “your attitude and not your aptitude, determines your altitude”. We can say that as soon as we are born we are heading to die or, for the time we have, we are heading to live an exciting and productive life. Both are true, it’s simply a matter of perspective and attitude.
Why should we approach this exciting time of life with negative expectations as some do? Of course as a species, we are not biologically constructed to last forever, but life is always changing as we live it. Look back over the changes in your life that you have already experienced. If you are over 60 or 70, look at how you’ve changed-matured-evolved.
Granted, we may not see as well or hear as sharply as we once did, or as Leonard Cohen says in one of his songs, “I ache in the places where I used to play”, however, look at the wisdom and memories we’ve gained along the way. Look at the lifetime of changes you’ve experienced.
From childhood we have been evolving, both physically and mentally, isn’t that really what “maturity” means? Why stop maturing now?
It may seem that at this stage time goes by faster. Not true. Time has always moved at the same pace, it’s just that we are now “experienced racers”.
When we ask people who are retired how life is for them, now that they are no longer working. The answer often is “I’ve never been so busy”. Often times that translates simply to “I’ve never been busier trying to find things to do and fill my time”.
Whilst it is true that many retirees who follow the traditional retirement route and behaviors, will indeed be busy doing that initial traveling, golfing, volunteering or what have you, inevitably the question to be asked is “What’s next?” or “What now?”. These questions are usually prompted by the realisation that we have a lot of life left to live and a lot of time in which to live it.
This article and others I write regarding “evolving” is intended to not only encourage our age group to view this evolving time from a different perspective, but also to question the attempted conditioning of our age group by companies and others who have yet to see our viability as a market for many goods and services way beyond what is typically offered us.
Slowly, some smart forward thinking companies are recognizing our massive market potential and see us as people who have many needs and interests, way beyond that which usually targets us. After all, our market is huge, growing and financially strong. We still are interested in style, fashion, cars, fine dining, technology, cosmetics………………… (just add your own interests here).
At 73, I simply don’t accept that because of my age that my life has limitations. Certainly, there may be physical limitations, but that’s just another life stage to recognize. Young children aren’t physically grown yet to perform well on the basketball court. That too is yet another life stage to be completed.
This is our time. So remember, unless your birth certificate has an expiry date on it, go for it and keep evolving.
Viva la Evolucion!