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Redefining Aging As An Adventure

By Blog Master
Posted: 12/03/2020

My friend Michael Patterson wrote an article about aging, comparing it to the adventure myth that every society seems to have. I found this a very interesting concept. When

embarking upon a new adventure, one never knows quite what to expect. It is an

experience filled with unexpected twists and turns of events, joys and challenges, and

sometimes even dangerous situations.

It seems an apt comparison, and a constructive way to view the aging process. As we

enter this stage of our lives, typically somewhere in our 60s, we are embarking upon a

new stage of life without knowing quite what to expect. There are those who have gone

before us, of course, but each person’s experience is new and different.

As I look at my own experience of aging, observing my fellow Villagers and other friends

and neighbors, I see many people in their 80s and beyond who are intellectually active,

still very much engaged in life, and making positive contributions to the world in which

they live. This is inspirational, and very uplifting. It is a wonderful thing to feel a part of.

 We need to celebrate these moments.

It seems to me that we could divide our aging into stages. Perhaps in our 60s we

conclude a career path; our offspring have left home and hopefully established

themselves. Like children, we may embark on new plans and activities – travel, hobbies,

learning new skills. Our 70s could be compared to our teen years, casting about for

who we’re going to be when we “grow up.” We are entering a new phase, recognizing

that we have limitations, but I think that real old age begins at 80. That is somewhat like

reaching the age of maturity.

I take encouragement from this, because at 83, it means that I’m still young. I have only

recently entered the age of serious maturity. It gives me a lot to look forward to. I joined

the Pasadena Village to meet people, and I found a whole bunch of friends – many older than me – who are active and doing interesting things. The Village gives us opportunities to

participate, but more important it gives us opportunities to engage and contribute to the

greater good. I realized that I had something to offer, and that was very rewarding.

Meeting new challenges provides a sense of exhilaration and accomplishment. Being

part of the Village gave me insight and appreciation for what lies ahead.

Here's something that illustrates the concept of redefining aging in the personal experience of a Village member. This composition captures the essence of what redefining aging means.

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