If you are familiar with my book “Inspired By Autism”, then you know something has to inspire me to write. Now, I am inspired by old age. The inspiration comes from knowing that with 77 years behind me, I don’t know how many years are in front of me. I am now “the elderly”, a word that I don’t like, but I do like being an elder which is where the word comes from. I feel great, being an elder who is still “clothed in my right mind’ as they used to say.
Suppose we have gotten the aging situation wrong. Suppose we are supposed to get better with age and not get “old and feeble”. We have learned many lessons and have had many experiences that have helped us grow. I heard a story about an island where people were pushed off a cliff when they became elderly. Thank God we don’t live there, though I think the situation has changed. The opposite situation is the countries where the elderly are revered and honored. We are somewhere between these two extremes in America, though I do feel that our age group is not heard from enough. That is why I
want to say something while I still can.
We are a new kind of elderly. 70 is now the new 50. I feel better at 70 than I did at 50.We are living in the best of times for people our age because of all the medical advances and arthritis medicines that don’t smell. They even make cute shoes that don’t have heels that are too high for us to walk in. We are living longer, healthier, more meaningful lives in our “golden years”. What are we going to do with our future?
We have raised families, retired from careers and survived far more than we ever thought we could. Now that we are past our peak, what are we going to do with the third act of our life? I know that I have been to every party, eaten every delicious meal and seen everything. I have even bought everything and don’t know where half of it is. We have lived long enough to know what is important and what is not. Situations and events that used to upset us no longer have that effect on us.
Remember when we used to “knock ourselves out” trying to please everyone? Well, I am through with that. If I haven’t already pleased you by now, you are out of luck. Now, I want to please me and I hope you do, too. I still love to travel. I won’t live long enough to see all the places that I want to, but I am going to travel as long as I can. We still need to move forward in life as long as it is enjoyable. We also need to “pay it forward” if we can which is also part of my future plans.
I hope you have something that gives your life purpose. For me, it is my son, my book, and the Pervis Foundation. I believe that it is more blessed to give than receive, so I plan on giving when I am able. The Pervis Foundation has helped over 300 people since we began and I plan to continue as long as I can.
Now is the time for us to do whatever it is that we always wanted to do, but didn’t have the time. Now we have the time and I hope we are healthy enough to make plans.
I don’t know who said it, but I read that we are not supposed to go to our graves rested and relaxed. We are supposed to slide in sideways and worn out, having used up all that we were given.
May we live long and prosper.