It’s 5:00 am. The morning ritual commences. I let my five dogs out through the garage for their morning ritual. I have on sweat pants, sneakers, a t-shirt and my trusty flashlight to chase down and track the renegades who often break from the pack to investigate something in the woods.
It’s a dark, chilly, three acres to cover and herding these excitable little creatures before coffee is a challenge. They usually break off in different directions, hence, the sneakers.
I better be on my game. Sure enough, I’m running up the grassy hill in front of my house full throttle, waving my flashlight and hissing the offender’s name so as not to wake the neighbors.
Then it hits me. I’m going to be seventy years old this year. Are you kidding me? I’m not even breathing heavy. I’m a human sheep dog and it’s exhilarating. No aches, no pains, no shortness of breath and no fear of stroking out. Could happen, but it never enters my mind.
Seventy? Still can’t wrap my head around that number. I’m in better shape now than when I was nineteen. After being drafted, while in basic training, a slow one mile run would make me lose my breakfast. Damn, this feels good.
Once I get my herd rounded up and fed, I grab my coffee, head upstairs to my laboratory, my multimedia studio over the garage, where something’s always percolating. My little slice of heaven. From here I can reach the world. And I do.
I booted up my first PC when I was fifty years old. My intention was to use it for a program I had heard about called Quicken to manage my finances. Once that screen lit up I was thunderstruck. I thought to myself “there’s magic in that box”.
That was twenty years ago and I never looked back. It started with a newsletter then a web site and naturally progressed to video, e-marketing and on-line strategy. The hook was set. My life was changed forever at fifty.
Our inner push, as I call it, consists of our drives, desires and urges of which we have many. I find myself so intellectually hungry, less prone to act or react in haste and can devour enormous amounts of technical information where I never had the patience or persistence in my younger days.
This developmental intelligence is part of our liberation phase.
We’re not bound by traditional thinking about what it means to age these days. I have never been so creative and excited about life and the technology available that enables us to share our thoughts and ideas. Amazing information is at our fingertips.
Collective conditioning tells us that we all, at one point or another, will experience a mid-life crisis. That’s a cultural myth. Somewhere between forty and sixty-five, we all go through a profound re-evaluation. Where have I been? Where am I now? Where am I going? That’s not a crisis. It is a quest.
History is replete with incredible creative accomplishments from all walks of life well into their 90’s.
My older brain can process information using both sides of my brain instead of just one in my younger days. (Some who know me well would argue I never used either one.) The brain is a muscle that gets stronger with use, from problem solving and being challenged, to indexing and storing years of experiences and information.
This is truly the most creative period of our lives. The inner push is alive and well. Embrace it. Don’t mistake it for stress or anxiety.
We all have a tendency to focus on the negative side of aging through our 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond, instead of the huge potential for enormous growth and being a positive role model for all who come after us.
I would like to continue this conversation and I will, because there are so many of us that have a skewed vision of what aging means today. The list of late bloomers is endless and heartening. I would love to hear from anyone that feels the same, has been challenged and succeeded, or would like to guest post here, I would be more than happy to slide over.
In future posts I plan to talk about living a longer life in an economy and a culture that still thinks about age as a curse and not a blessing. I have some interesting friends who are doing some very creative things even while actively employed because their creative drive is so great. I will be pod casting those conversations and interviews and sharing them here.
Let’s talk, share ideas. Leave a comment. This is an important time for all of us. Let’s not be running around in the dark. I have to every morning, but I know the terrain, plus I have a flashlight.