I just read a story about a woman in Chicago who just turned 100 years old and didn’t retire from her job until she was 99 year old. She said the reason she never retired was because she loved what she was doing at her job, felt needed and appreciated.
In an era where age is increasingly seen as just a number, the traditional stereotypes associated with the elderly are being shattered. Today's octogenarians, nonagenarians, and centenarians are not just reminiscing about the past; they're actively shaping the present and future.
From the courtroom to the comedy stage, from TikTok to the golf course, and even in our very own neighborhoods, they are redefining what it means to age gracefully.
Jo and Doreen, The Pillars of the Neighborhood
Jo, at 93, is a testament to the power of staying active and connected. Walking three times a day, tending to her garden, and engaging in heartfelt conversations, she's a beacon of vitality. Her stories of a childhood on an Idaho farm are not just tales of the past but lessons in hard work and resilience. Without relying on any medications, she stands as a role model, proving that age is merely a mindset.
Just a block over, Doreen, 91, is the embodiment of ceaseless energy. Often found beautifying her yard, she believes that staying active, especially outdoors, is the secret to her unwavering vitality. With the mountain sunshine as her constant companion, Doreen's zest for life is contagious.
Diverse Lifestyles and Mental Well-being
Centenarians from various walks of life emphasize the importance of a calm mind, staying curious, and having a general love for life. Jeanne Calment, who lived to 122, smoked for nearly 100 years but attributed her longevity to olive oil, port wine, and chocolate. Christian Mortensen, who lived to 115, advised drinking lots of water, avoiding alcohol, and staying positive. Sarah Knauss, living to 119, attributed her longevity to her tranquil nature.
Staying active, both mentally and physically, is a recurring theme. Anthony Mancinelli, 101, believed that going to work kept him going. Dr. Laila Denmark, who lived to 114, emphasized doing what you love and mentioned she never felt she worked a day in her life.
Inspiring Individuals from Various Walks of Life
Harriet Newman Cohen, a 89-year-old lawyer, believes in staying updated and embracing technology. Uncle Jack, a 99-year-old TikTok sensation, emphasizes the importance of hobbies and staying connected with the world. D’yan Forest, an 88-year-old comedian, is a testament to the fact that it's never too late to follow your passion. Freck Vreeland, a 95-year-old former CIA agent, believes in simplifying life and focusing on quality.
The Neurologist, Dr.Howard Tucker, was named the 'world's oldest practicing doctor' by the Guinness World Records is no ordinary achievement.
He worked until he with patients until he was 99 years old. Now as he has reached the age of 100, he no longer sees patients, however, he keeps busy in the medical field by teaching medical students and keeping up with new medical advances. While specific details on the 100-year-old neurologist's secrets to longevity were not provided, one thing is clear: a passion for one's profession can be a significant driving force behind a long, fulfilling life.
Age is becoming an increasingly irrelevant metric when determining one's zest for life, professional contributions, and societal involvement. Whether it's the inspiring stories from our neighborhoods, tales from around the world, or insights from professionals, it's evident that it's not about the number of years lived but the life lived in those years. With the right attitude, habits, and a genuine love for life, 90 might indeed be the new 40.
Thought provoking questions:
Nature vs. Nurture: How much of longevity is attributed to genetics versus lifestyle choices and attitude?
My great-grandparents all lived into their 100’s. And this was back during a time that living past your late 60’s was uncommon. My grandparents all lived to nearly 100 years old.
Does this mean I am genetically inclined to become a centurion as is my goal? Who knows for sure.
I won’t leave it up to genetics. My focus at my current age of 65, is to work on my health which includes continuing to lose weight, eat 7 servings of greens a day, sticking close to the Blue Zone ways of eating, exercising including weights and resistance training, taking at least 10,000 steps each day, resting and making it a goal to reduce stress in my life.
I chose many years ago to be an entrepreneur and live life on my own terms. From living on the streets, to living in car, to owing my own home… all through the learning I received from the “School of Hard Knocks”.
Since I live my life and choose a freedom lifestyle, there are days where I will work for 16 hours and other days I hang out with my grandchildren, read, think, and work on my current project of renovating a major fixer-upper I purchased as my last home.
Learning to get rid of bad stress but embrace the good stress (like exercise) was one of the recent goals I achieved.
Learning the lesson of : Stop trying to control the uncontrollables. Don't dwell on regrets of the past, don't fret so much of the future. Be still in the present, soak it all in.
And most of all be grateful and appreciate the life you have. Live in gratitude! That will do more for good health and longevity than anything else.