One Hundred Plus
While watching television last week, I channel surfed into an episode of “Growing Bolder” on RLTV. It is an interesting TV show/website/etc. exploring boomers and seniors who have successfully transitioned into a ‘second chapter’ in their lives. The segment of the show that got my attention featured Ruth Hamilton, who started blogging at the age of 109. If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I expect to throw myself a 100th birthday party, so naturally I am fascinated by people who have reached that age milestone. I would like to know what they did to get there and how they spend their time now. I am also curious about their attitude regarding their age.
Another aspect of my personality you might have noticed is that I continue to be self-conscious about my own age. Most of my bosses and co-workers are much younger than I am, leading to a bit of paranoia; do I seem old, am I getting out of touch in any way, am I struggling to keep up? With all that in mind, I rarely say my age out loud, even in this blog. A hint: the original blog was called Fifty Something, a claim I can no longer make. Enough said about that, for now.
Marc Middleton, the founder of “Growing Bolder,” wrote a book called “Rock Stars of Aging: 50 Ways to Live to a Hundred.” The web site effectively teases the content, which consists of interviews with numerous centenarians who have aged successfully and regularly engage in activities such as baseball, championship swimming, video chatting and motivational speaking. I plan to buy the book today. I want to know how they made it to 100. One interviewee says, ”exercise, travel and bourbon!” Hmmm, maybe I should try that. Although I prefer wine.
One day I hope to be a role model for creative aging. For now, I seek such role models. My own mother and her three siblings made it into their 90s. In fact, my uncle, her brother, married his second wife at age 86. A good friend’s ex-mother-in-law died last week at age 96. Her body was starting to fail her but her mind was sharp. She read books constantly. On the very day she died, a nurse asked her for her name, the date and the name of the facility she had just been transferred from following an injury and she instantly and clearly answered each question correctly. I plan to have a press conference during my 100th birthday party. Do you think blogs and newscasts will still exist thirty-five years from now?
My own strategy for creative aging includes physical fitness, staying active mentally (a necessity for work) and doing whatever I can to keep a positive attitude. One source of inspiration for that is a book I try to read annually called “The Power of Optimism” by the late Alan Loy McGinnis. Another piece of advice is printed on a square plate on a book shelf near where I am writing this. I’ll leave you with a photo of that suggestion.