When I was young, I was frequently approached with the question, “Who are you going to be when you grow up?” As I’ve grown older, I am often struck by the fact that after age 60 people seem to stop asking this question. Do we unconsciously embrace old images of “aging” and accept that any more becoming is long past. However, the reality is that presently “seniors” are living much longer and age 60 is probably now the new 40.
With this in mind, do we dare to ask “who can we become now?.” Just think of it. We can explore many options without all the pressure we had in our youth of becoming a “somebody” and making a living. With the relaxed attitude that comes with life experience, this exploration can either be very playful or a time to finally do something that really matters to us. I have a good friend who often tells me “All I want in my later years is to be totally eccentric!” Believe me she is doing great in this regard and we have had many a good laugh seeing this unfold in her.
As better medicine has increased our life span, we truly are pioneers of a different vision of aging. I invite you to take some time and reflect on the following. Find a quiet place and see in your mind’s eye an image of your older adult. Daily keep this image before you and let it become reality. Remember “what you focus on gets BIGGER!”(D. Dyer).