Did These People Think Positively About Aging?
At 100, Grandma Moses was still painting.
At 98, Titian painted the Battle of Lepanto.
At 93, George Bernard Shaw wrote Far Fetched Fables.
At 91, Eamon de Valera serves as President of Ireland.
At 90, Pablo Picasso still drew and engraved.
At 89, Arthur Rubenstein gave one of his greatest recitals at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
At 88, Pablo Casals still performed cello concerts.
At 82, Winston Churchill wrote the four-volume work, a History of the English Speaking Peoples.
At 82, Leo Tolstoy completed, I Cannot Be Silent.
At 82, Goethe finished Faust.
At 81, Benjamin Franklin engineered the diplomacy which led to the adoption of the United States’ Constitution.
Perhaps you will never produce a renowned painting or novel or piece of music–or, perhaps, you will. At any rate, what are your beliefs about aging and loss of ability or loss period? What do you still want to do or be–and I’m not just talking about a “Bucket List,” although I don’t see anything wrong with them per se. They might not go far enough, though.
What will you have to ask of yourself–or others–to live vitally and with meaning and purpose in your elder years? What barriers (internal and external) might you have to go over, around or through? You won’t necessarily have to do great things, although you just might. You might simply do small things with great significance for you, loved ones or the world. They could be as simple as pushing a lawn mower instead of riding one or taking a flight of steps instead of an elevator. They could be as profound as sharing your experience and wisdom of a lifetime with a child, grandchild or someone who needs your mentoring.