The subject of age and aging abounds with myths and assumptions which are questionable—to put it politely. Myths such as “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Or the assumption that—when people reach the age of 50 or 60— they start thinking about retiring from work and taking up a life of Perpetual Puttering.
These myths persist even though hardly a day goes by that you don’t see an article about a person over 50 or 60 or 70 who continues to do outstanding work.
Some such people that I’ve written about are Patti LaBelle, Daniel J. Evans, Clint Eastwood, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, Mavis Staples, and the indomitable Betty White.
There were several articles about such people in yesterday’s “Washington Post.” One was about cartoonist Stan Lee (88) on the release of his new super-hero film “Thor,” another about singer Rambling’ Jack Elliott (79) on a local appearance.
Some of those who do outstanding work decade after decade end up working until a month or so before they die. Two recent examples:
- Pulitzer prize-winning columnist for the “Washington Post” David Broder who wrote his last column in February, 2011, and died in March at 81, and
- blues and boogie-woogie piano player Pinetop Perkins who won his third Grammy award in February, 2011, and died in March at 97.
It’s never to late
So when some people reach 50 0r 60 or beyond, they keep doing what they’ve been doing so well for so long. Others take up new challenges—doing things they’ve always dreamed of doing or taking up entirely new pursuits. It’s Never Too Late.
Currently, the online publication “ImpowerAge,” created by Dr. Carolyn Anderson, is holding a writing contest on this theme. The publication’s mission statement says, in part:
Empowering yourself to living a life of passion and contribution is at the heart of our mission at Impowerage. Impowerage is committed to redefining aging. Age is nothing but a number and it is never too late to be fit, give back or start living the life of your dreams.
Six finalists have been selected in the It’s Never Too Late contest with the winner to be picked by votes received between Wednesday, May 11 and Wednesday, May 25. The finalists’ entries and method of voting are shown at http://impowerage.com/news/its-never-too-late-to-writing-contest-finalists
I am one of the finalists, and I’d welcome your vote. In fairness, I have to say that the entries of all the finalists are inspirational. It’s more evidence yet that a person over 50 or 60 or beyond can do just about anything, if she sets her mind to it.
photo by mrullmi