My Journey Through The 7th Decade of Life

 

This past year I entered my 7th decade of life. “60 years old” some would say. I prefer “60 years young”.

Honestly, I really just think of it as a number on the timeline of life. The year after 59 and year before 61.

But since it seems to be a big deal to some, and because I want to make the most of life no matter what my age, I have decided to embark on a journey to live life in the healthiest, happiest, and smartest way possible; to live life to the fullest. I’m not sure anything will drastically change since this is how I have always tried to live, but I want to be more aware; more intentional. I want to guard against the status quo.

Why? Well, one motivation is to set an example for family and friends who are in some other decade; younger than I am. I want to be an inspiration to them. Secondly, I strive for lifelong health and wellbeing for myself. And finally, to be honest, I just read a statement about the eighth decade of life that dares me to be different. It says this:

“Eighth Decade (age 70 to 79) – Age of decreased mobility. The little pains of twenty years ago have increased so that now they impede what were normal activities. Visits to doctors become more frequent. You may need a cane, hernia surgery, or cataract surgery. Age spots are harder to cover. Your circle of friends starts to shrink as they start to die. Heart attacks, strokes, and cancer take their toll.”

Okay, WOW! Nope. Not ready for that even 9 years from now. I always make the best of what comes my way, and I will continue to do so, but if I can buck the trends of the eighth decade, I plan to!

As someone who has worked in the field of aging, I know full well that the body changes as we get older. But I also know that many of the diseases associated with aging are caused by lifestyle choices, and that what is “normal activity” is relative.

And still another motivation for this journey is my desire to challenge what is currently being defined as wellness in the workplace, our communities, and our families. What does it mean to be well? We must strive to be well, not through measurements we take such as pounds on a scale, points gained through an insurer, or fewer sick days. I desire to play a role in opening up deeper thoughts and conversations around wellness and wellbeing, striving for an outcome of life change in myself, but also my coworkers, community and family.

I want to believe in myself even more, believe in others, and inspire those others to believe in themselves.

No one says it better than e. e. cummings, “Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

We’ll see where this takes me. But I want my 7th decade of life to be the best yet. I want to give more, see more, laugh more, experience more, and learn new things. These are the things I believe will empower me to be healthy and well as I journey through the next 9 years of my life.

Let’s get started! I will keep you posted through the blog. We can journey together.

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