Are you prepared to become 80 years old, or 90, or more? Are you prepared to learn square dancing?
When we get older and retire how well we adjust to our new life depends on many things, but most importantly on how prepared and ready we are to:
learn new skills
meet new people
go to unknown places
let go of the life we know
get out of our comfort zone
move to a new house or town
Being older and getting older might last a long time. If you are in your sixties or seventies you might have 25 years in front of you. Could you really look out of the same window, at the same world for that long?
Years ago I read an article in which the author advised people to learn a new trade before retiring, giving them a chance at a new life, a new career. But how many of us being 60 or 70 years old have done that? Not many. But maybe we can redeem ourselves by getting out of our comfort zone and start thinking out of the box?
What would be wrong if you moved to another country for a few months of the year. Or followed your desire to paint? Or took a cruise around the world? Or sold your house and moved into a nice new condo?
The kids – the grandkids? Don’t worry about them, they have their own life and just because you spend a few months of the year in Italy you won’t lose them. On the contrary they will be happy to visit you in Italy!
You can initiate a lot of these changes, but also watch out for what the Universe might send your way – let’s say a friend wants to start a business and ask you to be a partner. The answer is not ‘at my age I don’t think I want to take the risk.‘ Instead grab this opportunity. It might sound a little crazy or risky but it will push you out of your numbing comfort zone; giving you a reason to get up in the morning, bringing you back to life, a life which will fill the years ahead.
So are you ready to go to the moon?
Are you ready to go swimming with dolphins?
Of course you are! Because – not at any time – are you too old to change and think out of the box!
The last time I talked about what impact Social Media has on older people. How it can improve the rest of our life. How it will give us a purpose, something to do, but most importantly how it will connect us to this new world. But we can’t do it alone. We need help. We need a mentor.
The definition of a mentor in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person.
Yes, that someone used to be us. We used our life experience to give advice, to lead and to teach. But now there is a new reality. One that unfortunately disregards what was valuable before the Internet. And anybody born with an iPhone in their hand does not even want to know of how it was before. I have two grandchildren, 12 and 9 and when I forget that something which is not on the computer is of no consequence, and start telling them a story about the old days -being well brought up – they feign interest, but never take their eyes off their iPhone.
So to catch up we need a mentor – but where can we find one?
Senior Citizen Centers
At work – if you still work, or volunteer ask your younger coworkers
Online – if you already have a computer (but remember going to classes with other humans will feel better and you will learn easier)
And if you live in New York City or vicinity contact:
New York Department of Aging
OATS – Older Adults Technology Services
And finally the grandchildren. They love to help when it has to do with the Internet. They even take their eyes off their phones to show you what to do on yours. Of course we have to be humble and grateful for their help as otherwise a remark like – ‘Moma I will give you an easy one so you won’t have trouble doing it’ – coming from a 9 year old will sting.
Mentors come in many forms and shapes, young, younger and very young. Peu importe – every bit of information will help. Good Luck!
Today is a very special day – it is the day I can tell you that my book Getting Over Growing Older will be published on Amazon.com on March 10 — and it is the day I am writing my first blog – one of many to come – where we can talk about and find out how not to grow old.
Writing a book is like giving birth. No, not like giving birth to a child, but giving birth to oneself. In this book I have opened my heart and shared experiences of my life, which have taught me that staying positive is the key to happiness and making the challenges of life easier to overcome.
I am leaving you with a short excerpt from the introduction
Inever think of my age, and I don’t think I am old. The calendar says otherwise, but what the calendar says has no affect on how I feel or look.
I am often asked why I have so much energy. Do I? I’m often told that I don’t look my age. Don’t I? I am happy to hear these comments, but I always feel that there is nothing unusual about me. Until one day when I was vacationing in France.
I became friends with Angie, an English lady a little younger than I, who said, “You know, you are very inspiring. I admire your enthusiasm for life and your positive attitude. I wish some of it would rub off on me.”
As I thought about her remark and I asked myself why I don’t feel old or look my age, the answers became the inspiration and reason for writing this book.