Here we are, old. Which direction will we take?

“Here I am in my mid-70s, and I am wondering: Is now the time to take a final stab at unfinished business—to accomplish at long last the remaining goals on my lifetime to-do list? Or is now the time to step back, let go of my ambitions, reflect and just live?”

So wrote Daniel Klein in the Wall Street Journal a few months ago. I suspect that it’s not usually  as clear cut as that. I do have one friend whose life is filled with activity. A poet and social activist, he’s also become a fine photographer and editor, a curator, an essayist, and more things than I can name–trying to get it all in before it’s too late.

Klein decides in favor of “friendship and reflection.” He’s happy to go to an island (many of us haven’t got the wherewithal to get there!) and contemplate life and death.

The new old age is the result of medical advances. We have time now to address our bucket lists; we can stay at our jobs and accomplish ambitions that would otherwise be lost to illness or death. Or we can let go and listen, think, wait.

I think most of us will probably do something of both.

sunsetonpond

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2 thoughts on “Here we are, old. Which direction will we take?

  1. Yes, most of us will do “something of both” , often to survive without choice of whether or not to “stay with our jobs”, in order to preserve our pride in accomplishments long fought, in a desperate attempt not to let go…..ambitions long having given away to the passages of time…survival is an amazing thing.

  2. I took early retirement 5years ago and playing tennis, various volunteer activities, and travel with my husband had started not being enough. Then last year we visited Uganda and an exciting new project found me. I find that has happened repeatedly for me. When my yearning and openness join forces I have been so fortunate to discover new paths of meaning.

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