Saging, Not Aging

These days, it is not uncommon to read news reports about 100-year-old people riding bikes, running marathons and living life to the fullest. Grandma Moses didn’t begin to paint until she was 76. Jeanne Calment, who lived a healthy life in France until she died in 1997 at the age of 122, actually met Vincent van Gogh when she was a child. I am convinced that each one of us is designed to live healthy and happy lives to 120 years of age. I just celebrated my 60th birthday. It’s an exciting milestone, and as I scan the horizon from this mountaintop, I hear voices say, “It’s all downhill from here. Slow down and take it easy. You have nothing more to contribute. Entertain yourself until you die. Your life is not ‘useful’ anymore.” Thankfully, I don’t believe those voices. From this peak I can see some amazing mountains up ahead. More than ever before, I recognize the priceless worth of wisdom gained through time and experience. Everywhere I look, I see exciting vistas from this vantage point. I am learning the secret of saging, not aging. “Retirement” is a new concept in human thought. Before the Industrial Revolution found the need to push less nimble older people off the fast-paced assembly lines, the white hair was a symbol of wisdom, experience and honor. The elder people’s work changed as their physical capacity for hard labor diminished, but they never stopped being a valuable, contributing member of society until the day they died. People actually looked forward to gaining wrinkles and white hair! Turning 60 has given me a crystal-clear picture of my life purpose. Without a life purpose, our lives are purposeless. Don’t believe what they say about old folks having nothing left to contribute. Don’t crawl in a hole just when the world needs your experiences and insights. Let the rest of your life be the best of your life.