You can remain young forever as age is not a requirement for success, determination and passion is. I am saying this to the 45 years and above who are bothered about their tomorrow. Don’t just retire and go home is my message to you. Plan to do something with the evening of your life.
You can start a new career. You can work on a new dream. I know of two men who retired after years of active service. One is still alive and well, while the other is dead. Both were above 70. What made the difference apart from other things was, one went home and sat down doing nothing. The other started a private company and is still alive and well today. You should not even retire at all. Even if you have money stashed up or investments/retirement benefits coming in, don’t stop working. Work keeps your mind sharp and your body active. Even if it gives you less income still put your hands to work whilst your pension and investments work for you in the background.
I know what I am talking about. I am in my fifties. I started blogging last month. I am a Poet, an Author, Photographer, Conference Speaker. I am also a full time Pastor.
The older I get, the more I discover new things about myself. Not that they are really new, but they were things that were in me all this time but were never given expression. You are not old because the civil service rules say so. You start getting old when you agree with them that at 62 years it’s over.
There is so much you can do with yourself. Are you a woman in your fifties? You can design clothes for women in that age bracket. Most of the fashion houses design for women between the age 18-40. A lot of women with cash are in their fifties and the designers don’t think they are worth the effort. You can do it at 60 since you know what it feels like. Go to most of the leading fashion shops, you will see that a good number are not catering for the fifty and above women or men anymore. Do something about it. The funny thing is the women and men at this age bracket are the ones who mostly have the cash to splash if they chose to.
I don’t know what you want to do. My advice is that make sure you do not get to age 90 with the regrets of what you ought to have done that you didn’t do.
Go and do something now.
Yes, get working. Age is just a number. Some blossom when they are young. Others when the are older. Mark Twain wrote his popular book Huckleberry Finn at age 49. Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky fried chicken didn’t make it till he was 65 years. Anna M Robertson one of the big names in American folks art didn’t pick up her brush till she was in her eight decade. Ronald Reagan didn’t get elected into his first public office until he was 55 years. Morgan Freeman didn’t become a superstar till he was 52 years old. Ernestine Shepherd the world oldest body builder didn’t start working out till she was 56 years, and at 82, she is still a force to be reckoned with in the business. Her life continues to baffle me. I mean imagine a woman in her fifties taking up body building. I am sure she must have been laughed to scorn. She waltz her way into the Guinness book of records. Her business is still thriving till today and she has clients flocking to her. Michael Grottola started his consulting business at 65 years old and is a success. You can Google the internet and you will discover many other people who became entrepreneurs at over 60 years old.
Okay, what is the worst that can happen? You may fail. Learn from the failure and go do another thing. I am not talking of white elephant projects that wastes resources. I am talking of truthful things that has been laid in your heart.
What is your excuse?
It has not been done before. Have you heard the statement that “there is always a first time for everything”. Take advantage of being the first.
It’s risky? The whole business of life is a risky project outside God. Life is risky but we all go out into various risks and come back everyday. Stop playing the same failure narrative in your head. If the voice in your head is not good, kill it. It won’t help you. Get rid of the fear and the excuses and put your hands to work. It will take time but you will get there. Besides at over 50 years, your chances of failure maybe slim because, at this age, you would have built up connections/had management experiences that a 25-year-old does not have. This is an added advantage.
What moves you from wishing the dream to living your dream is working . Working in the right direction.
Find your tribe
Find people in your age range and network with them. You can’t go it alone. Bring people of like minds together and encourage each other. Share your dreams with your known supporters old and young and go to work. Ignore the mockers as they will be many but as the years go by you will be the one laughing and they will be ones to be ashamed. Anyone who mock’s your decision to reinvent yourself or who says at 65 you should close shop and wait to die is not your supporter.
Find your tribe and network together. You can blog at 60, even travel. There are a lot of men and women who have sexual issues from 50 and above who are suffering silently and don’t know what to do. At 85, you have been there before you can counsel them even blog about the experience and what they should do. Some have just been widowed and have children to cater for. Those who have been there before can write about these things and help them out. Some are experiencing menopause, Talk to them, write a book or something on how to adjust to the changes going on in their bodies. You can write on what to do when you become a grandparent.
The young children some built their lives around have grown up and left home. You can blog about this things to teach them how to reinvent themselves now that the kids are out of the house. Instead of sitting down complaining of loneliness, get to work. Look for your tribe and help out. You can set up a Facebook page to get your “tribesmen”.
Keep up with the times
You have to keep up with the times. What worked in 1971 will not work now. People now meet online and through apps and start to date. They use “Tinder” and other dating apps. Stop moaning about how it was better in the 70’s where you had to see each physically and spend time together before relationship can start. Good as that maybe, those times are gone forever. The days of letter writing is gone. You will either get an email or any auto respond text, a meme, a #tag or an emoji. Better learn their use and start using them if you want to stay relevant.
This is what I am trying to say
Get in line with the latest technology. At 60 don’t ignore the social media. If you think Snapchat / Instagram is too “techy” for you, you are mistaken. The internet is here to stay and it will get more engaging than it is now. Get into the latest technology if you can afford it. Life is being built around that phone in your pocket or handbag.
Your kids and grand kids are all on it. Don’t become ancient and wasted whilst still alive. The phones will get smarter and the internet will get more and more into your house as technology is converging everything in one place. That is on your phone. Look right now, your phone can start your car, put on and put off the light in your house, play music for you, start your generator, schedule purchases for you etc. In ten years time, it will get much more engaging than this.
What are you going to do then when now you don’t even know how to search your TV and change the channels now. You keep calling for your 13 year old granddaughter to come and change the channel put on the TV for you. Your narrative is that they are the ones that know everything. So how come at 13 she knows everything and at 65 you don’t know. She knows it because she is inquisitive to know how things work and is not afraid to test the waters. You were also 13 before and you were inquisitive and adventurous. Why did you stop? You allowed life and times to change you. Go back and be a “65 years old adventurous girl” and stop saying “I am too old”. If you don’t use your skills/brain sorry, you may lose them.
Some complain that their teenagers are withdrawn and they don’t want to talk to you. They probably don’t talk to you because they don’t know what to say to you. They Snapchat and do Instagram and YouTube. You don’t. They speak with acronyms and #tags, you don’t. They watch Netflix and Premier league etc, you don’t. They are busy with the latest video games on their phones, you don’t. So what exactly are they going to discuss with you if you are not doing what interests them. Who wants to listen to how you bought the best lawn mower in 1964 in 2018. Have you seen the latest kicks in town sorry sneakers . No. Do you know what is trending on SoundCloud/twitter now? No. Are you on Vero? No. You probably never heard of it.
I could go on and on. So you see, if you want these millennials to talk to you, try to at least take interest in a little of what you see them interested in. Some parents sound like “instruction manual on heels” to their children. You are always correcting and correcting them but you don’t talk to them or think that what interests them matters.You are full of instructions so they avoid you. That is why they probably prefer to hangout with their friends because you have become unreachable. That’s why they probably have the headphones/earphones stuck in their ears all the time. They prefer to talk to “Siri and Alexa”.
The young kids are interested in “flash”, “Transformers” and other “superheroes”. They love “fast and furious” whilst you are still talking about “John Wayne and the Red Indians”.
You may love modest things, but this is the age of entertainment. It has to be noisy, scary and colorful for the children of this age to love it. “Sound of music” and “the good the bad and the ugly” was great, but we are not doing that anymore. What we watch now is “Avenger-Infinity wars, Black Panther, Annihilation, Tomb Raider, Rampage, Fantastic Beasts”... etc. You may think they are meaningless. That’s your personal opinion. The people watching it are not complaining. You need a paradigm shift because what you see as meaningless is not meaningless in their world. We all just have to sift the chaff from the grain, avoid recklessness when we can and train these kids well before they grow up.
I am sorry if I sound rude. But I just want you to realize this is where life is heading towards and it won’t turn back. In 20 years time, we may have driverless cars everywhere. Standing and complaining about it won’t stop the technology and its advancement. I know it was/is great holding the steering wheel at quarter to three when you drive. But that will soon be gone just as earbuds are going to eliminate earphones with its cords. So get with the program in other to remain relevant.
I am #workinprogress
I am not an expert on life. I don’t claim to be a “know all“. But I am willing to learn and share with like minds. Life can be better than you are experiencing now if only you will make little changes in the way you live now. Sin not, but make some adjustments. Be your age, but don’t be a dry bone. I am also making changes in my life so don’t think I have everything figured out yet. I am still learning to do/to cope with changes in my life and environment.
I am open to new and reasonable things that will improve my life.When/if I live to be a 100 years plus, I want to be able to look back and say, “I have no regrets. I did all I wanted to do and I am now ready to meet my maker.”
If what I have blogged about today matters to you or inspired you, hit me with your comments and let us learn together.
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Thank you for your time.
STAY YOUNG, HAVE FUN AND DON’T BE A BURDEN TO YOURSELF OR ANYONE.