Why Aging Doesn’t Scare Me

Powerful sources to inspire us to live our best lives in our sixties, seventies, eighties , nineties and beyond

aging people

Since turning 50 four years ago, I’ve become obsessed with the topic of aging. 

By aging, I mean everything about the five-plus possible decades of life that remain for me, and what life will ideally be like in my fifties (almost midway through them), sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties and even in my hundreds.

What I’ve learned has been more uplifting than anticipated and I live with happy anticipation about every successive year of my life.

I wouldn’t say I can’t wait to be 95, but it has dawned on me that the older people get, the less they think that the younger decades are the best. 

The more I read about and listen to energetic and fulfilled folks older than me, the more I like what they have to say. Also, I find myself going on and on about all this stuff with my friends and sisters, “You gotta listen to this, read that, watch that.” 

There’s tons of content out there on every topic, including aging. Below are a few powerful sources I have come across that are shaping my thinking. They’re filled with wisdom, humor, and inspiration. I invite you to check them out.

🎧 Listen

Wiser Than Me

I loved this podcast so much I wrote a whole post about it: Life Lessons from Astonishing Women Wiser and Perhaps Older than You.

Crows Feet

The interviews on this podcast touch upon a wide range of experiences, lessons and stories on the theme of life as we age. Episodes last no more than 30 minutes, with 36 episodes so far.

Many episodes contain stories about third and fourth acts beyond age 60, with most of these later-in-life acts being more intensely rewarding than any earlier one. A few episodes are primarily instructive, like the one on mindful movement and elder law. All contain entertaining and inspiring stories.

Following are some great quotes from the podcast.

Episode: A Well-Lived Life: Insights Into the Secrets of Aging into Health. The interviewee Dr. Galdys recently published her 8th book. She’s 102.

“My eyesight might be diminished but not my insight. Things that I could do when I was 50, a lot of those things I can’t do now, but there are a lot of things I can do, and the ones that I can do are at a different… almost different dimension. It’s almost like a shift in the consciousness…” 

Episode: Wait! Don’t Sign Away Your House: Meet Orrin Onken, Author and Retired Elder Law Attorney 

“After I retired and took up gardening and writing and the various things I do I was so surprised at how fun being old is.”

Episode: Real Happiness, Loving Sex- You May Be Surprised How Satisfying Your 80s Can Be

“The biggest surprise has been… the unexpected happiness that people feel and that old age isn’t decline but it’s development and people blossom in their old age.” 

Episode: Can Our Minds Make Us Younger? Yes, Says a Renowned Havard Psychologist. This episode is an instructive listen for how adult children should treat their elder parents.

“If people do things for us… There is a tendency over time to come to think we can’t do it for ourselves.” 

Episode: Fit & Fabulous at 97, Meet Elaine LaLanne, wife of “Godfather of Fitness” Jack LaLanne. It’s all about attitude.

“If you think young, you are young.” 

All Crows Feet episodes begin with the question: Are these our golden years or does aging just suck? Listening to CF fully reassures me that aging definitely does not just suck. Far from it. 

👀 Watch

Lives Well Lived

In the words of Sky Bergman, the documentary’s director, “Lives Well Lived celebrates the incredible wit, wisdom, and life experiences of older adults living full and meaningful lives in their later years.”

This documentary is a delight. It’s moving and beautiful and makes me look forward to every year I have yet to live.

📖 Read

Crows Feet on Medium

Just go in and peruse the articles and you might find authors whose stories and topics you connect to. The one little problem is that you get three free articles per month. If you want to read more, you must subscribe to Medium. But many authors also have their separate blogs where you can read them.

Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande

I read this book some years ago and it greatly influenced my view on aging, dependency and dying. I often revisit the following quote:  “It seems we’ve succumbed to a belief that, once you lose your physical independence, a life of worth and freedom is simply not possible.” To a certain extent, independence is overrated.

You can also watch the Frontline documentary based on the book.

With some luck, my best years and decades may lie ahead, especially if I prepare for the changes to come, cultivate a growth mindset, stay engaged and curious, find good role models, and keep moving.

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