can you believe i turn 63 today? honestly, my 10th birthday is still fresh in my mind. it was a sleepover party that was interrupted by a tornado that ripped through town. my parents hustled us down to the basement, with my dad creating a makeshift tent out of mattresses to keep us safe. 63 won’t be quite as exciting with a forecast of clear skies and temps soaring into the 90s. and that’s okay by me. but can you believe i’m firmly in my third act of life? the age of 60 ushers in the last three decades of life – the third act. the first act commences at birth and continues to age 30. these are the years where we figure out who we are and the world around us. the second act begins at 31 and ends when we turn 60. this is a time of rising conflicts and honing new skills and a higher sense of awareness of what we’re truly capable of. then enters the third act. and i’ve thought long and hard about how i want to use this time, how i can make a difference with the last years of my life because the third act is the final act. so how do we live a vibrant and purposeful life in a youth-driven culture where society has deemed us old? do we passively accept the “old geezer” stereotypes where our mental and physical capacity is the brunt of a joke? are we really set in our ways and unable to change our behavior? there’s a study by Becca Levy, Ph.D. assistant professor at Yale that studied people 50 years and older. those with more positive self-perceptions of aging lived 7.5 years longer than those with negative self-perceptions of aging. the study appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 83, No. 2).
then there’s an inordinate amount of emphasis on how we look, especially women. society wants us to eternally chase the fountain of youth. it’s a compliment, or so they say to look years “younger” than our age and an insult to look “old.” why is it that the most flattering thing you can say to an older person is that he “doesn’t look his age” or “doesn’t act his age” why is it a bad thing to look old? why do we qualify she looks good for her age? why can’t we just look good or act our age without a negative connotation? yes, ageism is alive and well, which is one reason this blog and social channels are dedicated to aging with grace, strength, and beauty. in case you hadn’t heard, every single person that woke up today is one day older. aging is a natural and beautiful phenomenon.
there have been lots of exciting things happening on the backend of the blog for months. can’t wait for the unveiling. but i will share and have been sharing for months the three pillars this blog is built on: aging with grace, strength, and beauty. what, exactly, is aging with grace, strength, and beauty? you ask.
attitude is everything, especially as we age. life is a gift and we need to treat it as such. if we have reached the third act of our lives, then we understand all too well that anything can be taken from us at any moment, including our health and wealth. but one thing that can never be taken away is our attitude; it’s our freedom to choose how we respond to life. so i say yes to living life with passion. and making my life count. i want to age with grace, strength, and beauty.
here are a few things i’ve discovered at the age of 63: i no longer have to prove anything to anyone. and i don’t carry grudges anymore. i place value on wisdom and authenticity. and i try to live mindfully. my body may be deteriorating even though i’m giving it my best shot to keep it healthy. and that goes for my brain too. yes, i may have a few more wrinkles than at age 40 or even 50, but my attitude has improved. it’s time to let go and live purposefully, to be present, live in the moment, and not worry about the past or what could go wrong in the future.