Aging Here Now

Since the generation hitting retirement age right now is the same group that marched with Martin Luther King, staged antiwar protests, promoted women’s liberation, gathered for Woodstock and practiced free love in San Francisco, it’s no wonder that attitudes about retirement and aging are changing radically.

People are living longer and healthier, and are forging new, adventurous paths into old age, finding themselves more involved, more creative, more original, more fulfilled and more excited about life than ever. (Consider Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Woody Allen, Robert Redford and the Rolling Stones.)

The quest for meaning seems to have fueled this generation from the beginning – and could be the key to why this group is daring, once again, to be different. Habitually questioning authority, even in their middle years, these new elders reject labels and pigeonholes, instead reaching deep within themselves to find new aspirations… and then follow them.

A sixty-four-year-old activist who cut off his pony tail and went into government consulting in his early thirties has this to say: “I view retirement as breaking out of an adult mold into new endeavors without the bindings of ‘being an adult.’ Be radical again! With maturity you lose your chains. You stood up to be counted in your youth. Now do it again! And if you were never radical, then now’s a good time to start… Most of the elder-oriented commercial messages I see are oriented to play. Why not stress teaching, mentoring, working with others – sharing back what we have learned?”

A seventy-year-old marketing consultant-turned-actress-and-author explains, “For a long time I was overly obsessed with the changes in my body. But here I am. The body may be going, but, to my amazement, I am in the best place I have been in years. I have discovered recently that I am an inspiration. I always looked up to others. Now others are looking up to me.”

One woman who taught high school and obeyed the rules all her life decided to write a book on aging with style, and began her quest by joining a nudist camp and parading about in nothing but high heels and jewelry. Now in her mid-seventies, she’s having too much fun to stop and write.

A former mortgage banker comments that at fifty-four “I used to believe I was liberated. Now I really am. I say let’s kick the ends out of our coffins and re-think all that age/death/dying stuff. Let’s have a party or a concert and all learn to ride motorcycles or sky dive instead of sitting around and discussing our ailments like our parents did.”

“Historically, the elders were caretakers and teachers to children,” notes a sixty-year-old writer. “Today we can’t afford to retire at sixty-five, and some statistics say we’ll be working right into our graves. So it’s time for society to change its habit of shuffling older people off into corners, ‘cause we’re gonna be active and involved for a long time! I actually think there are more of us in the U.S. than there are thirty-year-olds… we started movements before, and we’ll do it again, because one thing we definitely know how to do is create change.”

A private detective adds this about her own process of sixty years: “The journey has become the goal. Before, the destination was the most important thing. Now, the destination is an afterthought… the journey is everything. I think as you get older you begin to understand what is genuinely important in your life,” she concludes. “Priorities change radically, and importance shifts from what you can do for yourself to what you can contribute to the world to make it a better place for future generations.”

And a seventy-seven year old painter and glass artist sums up the essence of the journey: “The past is myth and the future is illusion. We have only this present moment, and this moment is timeless. So Be Here Now!”

17 thoughts on “Aging Here Now

  1. Clever

    You can use a scanner to make a diigtal file with it. Save it as a .gif,jpeg,.mime or whatever is good for your software and others. Look at the wiki for Calligraphy, it is a very fine art that is fading fast, or so it seems.Keep the arts alive.To copyright it or submit it, make a website and use it on that. You can use RubyonRails to make a Live Dynamic Site that is very interactive.

  2. Satnam

    So I’m not going to make a blanket proiibhtion against anonymous comments here, but I really do wish you would leave your name(s), Anonymous. Sounds like you have some inside info and perhaps a teeny tiny vested interest, and it would be really nice to be able to be open about that.Nick did tell me he’d written much of the current dinner menu. The whole thing was extremely creative, IMO. I’m looking forward to hearing where he (and Noah) land next. In my kitchen, perhaps, for a tutorial on sourdough ice cream? Now that would be spectacular….

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  7. bobannbobann

    Holy Cow!!!! I was waiting and hoping and blogging and occassional hinting in my writing that boomers are going to change (once again) the spice that will change life. The world waits!

    In some ways it won’t be pretty – we tend to force the issues if folks move too slow, and create new what doesn’t seem to fit. But what glorious wonders await. Our children – but not grand children – will resent the intrusion.

    We’ll probably wind up retiring in space….get a better view and control from there.

    We lost an icon – Dennis Hopper.

    Great writing. Thank you!

  8. alcyone7alcyone7

    As someone who just turned 51 within the past month, I concur that “50 is the new 30” 🙂 .

    My life is just beginning!!!

    Namaste, All 😉

  9. Verbena

    I’m really glad you gals enjoyed this. It was way more fun to write than I thought it would be … and I had fun getting reacquainted more deeply with some old friends and ex’es who were sources of the quotes.

    And what’s this about Miss Krystal and a promotional magazine?!? Sounds wonderful … I hope all of us psychics will be able to enjoy our own copy, and how wonderful for you to be featured, Miss Krystal.

    Amelia, I’m interested in what you said about Dr. Oz; I have several family members who lived past 100, and have been told several times that I could live to be 140 if I choose … imagine how the world would change over that length of time!

    Gina Rose, I totally agree with (and have had struggles with) the employer thing, and Abigail, I LOVELOVELOVE your comment that 50 is the new 30. Yessss!

    And, Lonnie, you said it all when you said that what matters is how we feel as individuals.

    And, as Gina Rose also said, isn’t it wonderful to work for California Psychics?!?!? The Company is great, and the “company” such as you 5, is even better!

    Blessings & hugs,


  10. Psychic Amelia x9772

    GREAT article. My husband just turned 71 and gets on an airplane every week and travels around the country with his work. He is in excellent health and he feels great! We ARE living in a different time. I heard Dr. Oz (from Oprah fame) say that there is no way we shouldn’t be able to live to at least 120 if we took proper are of our bodies. And today, we are!!

    Here’s to a long and healthy and prosperous life for all!!


  11. misskrystal

    Thanks, Abigail. That is very sweet of you. Hope you are doing well. Wishing you and your family, a blessed holiday weekend. Take care. Peace and happiness, Miss Krystal

  12. Abigailx9570

    Miss Krystal,
    The recent CP Promotional magazine with your page was outstanding 🙂 Great job CP and Miss Krystal the new marketing is wonderful.

    Many Blessings

  13. misskrystal

    Hi Verbena-I agree with everything you say. I always enjoy your posts and column. Plus, I agree with Gina Rose, about CP!
    God Bless everyone this memorial weekend.
    Miss Krystal

  14. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    I can honestly say that I’m glad I found a ” home ” with CP ……this is one company, that I can honestly say, treats their clients AND employees exceedingly well. Great job CP !!!!!!!!!!

    And it has been a long time since I’ve come across a company, in or outside of my field, with the ability to exceed in both areas.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  15. Abigailx9570

    Love the article … motto “like fine wine it just gets better with age” ~smile~ I am, you are, Gina Rose, Lonnie and so it is. 50 is the new 30 hehehe

    Many Blessings


  16. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Wonderful article, Verbena….

    You are only as old as you think you are,…..and our seniors have MUCH experience and wisdom to contribute to society overall.

    It’s a shame that more employers don’t see the value in hiring older, experienced people……things are slowly changing in that area for the better….but there is still a long way to go.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

  17. lonnie5185Lonnie

    Hello Verbena EXCELLENT articale!!I really like What you wrot .Its society as you say that people us to think 40 was middle aged.Be in the moment like he said is what i do ist great to read this info.Age is timless as you say. If we live in the moment we dont have to think about age.Its how we feel as individuls.



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