If you estimate you will inhabit the Earth until you reach into your ninetieth year, you can use an obvious baseball metaphor to represent your aging life. At 60 you are in the sixth inning of a nine-inning game, and you are – congratulations – manager of the home team. With 60 being the first decade of the final third of the game, reaching that milestone, in my opinion, means you can officially be called “old.”
As I push myself through this study on aging, I’ve arrived at a point of having to more thoroughly review the research and attempt to synthesize the most salient nuggets of information I have thus far highlighted either electronically on my Kindle, or by underlining in pen, or by swiping across with various-colored highlighters in the many hard-cover and paperback books I own.
In “The Mature Mind: The Positive Power of the Aging Brain,” the late Gene D. Cohen, geriatric researcher on positive aging, wrote about a “summing- up” phase in life that typically hits people in their late sixties and into their seventies and eighties. Cohen identified this phase as “a time of recapitulation, resolution, and review.”
Every time I passed this woman sitting in her wheelchair outside of her room, she gave me a very odd, piercing look that seemed to reek of hatred. It briefly stressed me out just to see her. She was one of many wheelchair-bound residents of a combination nursing/palliative/hospice care facility that I was visiting on a regular basis for personal reasons.
There are two cheesy clichés that I repeat to my 63-year-old self on an almost daily basis: “every day, in every way, I am getting better and better,” along with “remember, age is just a number.” These two clichés fit snugly within my positive aging mindset, forming numerous psychological, philosophical, sociological, and spiritual perspectives.
With a view on bolstering such good thoughts, I recently read Thomas Moore’s newest book, “Ageless Soul: Living a Full Life with Joy and Purpose.”