And as I’ve grown older, I’ve been struck by how aging isn’t nearly as dismal and dreary as the conventional wisdom suggests.
The year I turned 60, for example, I started a new job in Seattle and joined Toastmasters. A few years later, I met a wonderful man at work, retired from my job, started this blog, and moved across the U.S. with my boy-friend who had taken a job in southern Maryland. He calls it a “failed retirement.”
Myths about growing older affect us all. So even if you’re not that old, here are five compelling reasons to read this blog.
Most of the really awful, scary stuff you know about aging isn’t true
Stuff like how old people don’t have sex: If they’re interested, they’re not capable, and if they’re capable, they’re not interested. Totally untrue! Age Myths discusses these myths, drawing on findings reported in books, newspapers, and websites, and sometimes my own experience.
Some common myths of aging aren’t just wrong, they’re positively harmful
When you hear over and over again that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” it can make you dread growing older. Then as you grow older, you may believe the myth and stop trying new things. Or you may try new things but think you won’t be any good at them. Thus the myth becomes the reality.
You’re too young to join AARP, but your parents are 60 or older
As time goes by, they’ll likely be dealing with questions about retiring vs. continuing to work, managing their health and navigating the U.S. health care system, and keeping active mentally. You and your brothers and sisters are likely to be be part of difficult and delicate discussions about these and related matters with your parents.
Age Myths celebrates the lives of people who continue to do fabulous work in their 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond
People like Mavis Staples, the great gospel singer and veteran of the civil-rights movement. She started singing professionally at age 8 and is still going strong in her 70s. Grab some Kleenex and click here to see Mavis perform “Hard Times Come Again No More” and “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
Finally, this stage of life ain’t what it used to be
Aging is changing for many reasons. It’s changing because of the economy and demographic trends and the political climate and challenges to conventional thinking about nursing homes and end-of-life care and all sorts of other factors. Age Myths addresses some of these complex issues and welcomes your thoughts about them.
What do you think? Do you have any questions, suggestions for posts, or other comments? I’d love to hear from you or your parents or grandparents or other amazing old people you know.