Given the choice would you rather grow old gracefully or disgracefully? I think more and more people are opting for the latter. People are enjoying their retirement years like never before, gone are the days when people retired and ‘waited to die’. There are so many stories of extraordinary retired people, I mentioned one, in a recent blog, about an octogenarian still running marathons and setting all sorts of records because she is one of the oldest marathon runners.
I’ve watched a couple of programmes recently which made me think even more about what is the best way to grow old. Firstly, there was the ‘100 year old driving school’, I expected it to be a bit of a mickey take to be quite honest but I was shocked to see that the majority of drivers featured were actually very good drivers. One thing that all the people had in common was that they were active in body and mind. There was one gentleman who was 95 I think, who still drove in London and worked as a jeweller; he was amazing and adamant that if he stopped he would wither and die. Then there was another gentleman who rode a scooter and sailed and was busy doing all sorts of fun activities.
The second programme was ‘100 years younger in 21 days’, there was 8 celebrities featured, their ages ranging from the late 40s to the early 90s. June Brown, of Eastenders fame, was the oldest but when tested she had the youngest brain age, that of a 50 year old! Over the course of the programmes she proved to be an inspiration to all of the other participants because she had a go at everything, she never gave up. She was sure, that the fact that she was still working, had been the best decision that she had ever made.
Now I’m not advocating that we all work until we are 100 but I think that the lesson is, to keep going, keep challenging yourself. I know when I had to finish work, I had to find something to keep me occupied in some way. I had finished my degree, which I was doing on the Open University but I knew that I needed something similar to push me. Having something to focus on and waking up with a purpose has kept me sane and helped me to focus on the positives in life. My mum and dad, in the photo, are definitely living life to the full, if you too, are interested in growing old disgracefully click on the links for some inspiration.