I’m in my 80s. Eighty-one, to be exact. Do you ever wonder what older people like me — and maybe you — are supposed to be doing? Taking a much-needed nap, perhaps? Soaking our dentures while trying to remember where we put our eyeglasses—which are most likely on top of our heads?
I reject the idea that our lives have to grow smaller as we grow older. They can expand. Eighty-somethings can write a bestselling book, a play or a symphony; give a lecture to a packed university auditorium; run a company; invent the next technological breakthrough — all while maybe also being a grandparent. We oldies might be volunteering our time and experience to help others succeed in their own lives. And, we may even be browsing through dating sites seeking new vistas for love in our next big act three after the death of a partner, a divorce or maybe a lifetime of being single.
All this only touches the mere surface of who we are — a collective, accomplished, fully-alive group of us in our mid-70s, 80s, 90s, and even 100s — and what we are up to! And this is why I decided to start writing this CelebrEighty column and opening up a community discussion.
In the weeks, months, and (universe willing) years ahead, I plan to share my experiences—personal, professional, and perhaps even romantic. I invite you to join me in each of these discussions, sharing your experiences and perspectives. I plan to dive in and explore such topics as:
Dating at Eighty and Beyond
How Our Adult Children Welcome Our Wisdom — or Not
Who We See in the Mirror and How it Reflects Our Inner Selves
Gifts to Give Now and Those to Leave to the World
Why the Fear of Death is In Fact Fear of Life
As part of addressing our love lives, family lives, careers, and generally finding our place in the world at this time of life, I will endeavor to interview and share insights from other amazing and inspiring 80 plus men and women as well. I’ve already identified a few wildly successful business people who are still in the game and can tell you how to ramp up your professional side regardless of your age; comics who can make you laugh; a dating coach; exceptional health gurus—and many others. Some will be household names, others are remarkable people who are “famous” within their circles. I hope these articles and interviews will inspire you to keep exploring ways to live your best life until your last day.
We all stand on the shoulders of giants. Those shoulders may not be broad and muscular. They may be slender and slightly stooped—but their strength can also be like the willow tree: long and lean, flexible enough to bend in the wind and strong enough to withstand any storm.
To join us on this journey of discovery, you can be 80, or 90, or younger: Your age is not a criteria, but we will be specifically addressing those issues that most impact our later years. You will find my columns stored on this site and I’ll be interacting with the discussion on Facebook.com/silverdisobedience
I invite you to visit often. I will welcome and sincerely appreciate your kind thoughtful comments, experiences, and suggestions.
Judy Katz is a book collaborator, ghostwriter, publisher, and marketer. She has helped develop storylines for prospective authors and completed, published and publicized 50 books so far and is still counting! You can reach her at www.