I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met two people of the same age and the differences they exhibit are amazing. I know more than a few people who are in their 80’s. Some of them are active, healthy, involved and seem much younger than their years – others are house bound and barely getting around.
You might say, “Well, 80 year-olds have such varied background and health related issues, of course they’re different.” I say “Pshaw!” I’ve seen the same thing occur with people who are in their 40’s and 50’s – they not only LOOK much older than they are, they ACT that way as well. It got me thinking.
I think that one of the worst mistakes we can make as we age is to lose our relevancy. We get stuck in our old ways, never challenging ourselves to look at things from a different perspective. We repeat the same stories, the same jokes, do the same things at the same time day after day after day.
So what hope is there for us? Well consider these people who achieved their greatest success at a later age:
- Colonel Sanders was 65 when he launched KFC.
- Roget invented the Thesaurus at age 73.
- Grandma Moses was 76 when she began painting. She did so because her first form of artwork, embroidery, became too difficult.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t publish her first book until she was 65.
They were no more special than you or me – they simply kept their minds active and found a new way to be productive in their later years. I believe we owe it to our future selves to keep the body healthy and active so that when we reach for those new goals and adventures later in life, we are physically able.
I realize there are some ailments that are unavoidable – and for those souls, we pray. However, the mind is still able, in most cases. So even if your body cannot do all of things you wish it could do – your mind is more than able to create and learn and grow.
Continue to challenge yourself as you age. Be an example for those who are younger than you are. Show them that the best is yet to come!