A note from Jaki (Continued)
… An aged attitude is just as good as a young attitude. Joyful living comes from the ability to utilize the inherent energy within each stage of life. Menopause and post menopause, as stages of the female life, contain their own unique and powerful energies—what Margaret Mead called “zest”. When menopause occurs and the physical and psychological imperatives of the female reproductive system ebb away, a new season commences for women and at this time in history it lasts longer than ever before. As life expectancy advances, it is reasonable to predict that many women will live as long after menopause as before. The question is what will we do with those years? Of course I support the pursuit of fitness and health but not to stay young, which is impossible. Health and fitness help you to be available for the wisdom and development which age can bring.
I direct your attention to an alternative viewpoint that could change your life by changing your attitudes toward aging and toward yourself. Such a change in attitude holds the potential for a double set of benefits—the first personal, the second to the world at large.
Begin to consider this perspective in your own life:
* Focus not on what is lost or fading but on what is new and stronger.
* Ask yourself what do you know now that you did not know when you were 20 or 30 or 40?
* How do you surprise yourself today in ways you never imagined?
I have begun with a focus on women because they have been the subject of my earliest research, a series of interviews with women between the ages of 45-102 in five countries, but don’t despair gentlemen, you are next. I welcome all voices on these pages and invite everyone to join in the conversation by contributing your ideas and feelings, your stories and plans, your pictures and videos, anything that offers evidence of the richness of life after 50, 60 , 70 , 80, 90 or even 100.
The pro-aging movement is building momentum and will soon sweep into the minds and hearts of men and women across the world. Together we will ban those “over the hill” birthday cards and prune juice Popsicle jokes. We will popularize lying about your age by adding a few years, and we will reignite our zest for life, celebrating our comfort in our own skin—no matter the year and model.
I am certainly not the first person to have this agenda. Carl Jung, Betty Friedan and Joan Erikson have all shared a message about the unique and significant value of the years 50+, but the time may not have been right for people to hear.
But now is our time. 2011 is officially the year of retirement for the first boomers. We must be ready to listen now. As this milestone approaches, I invite you to check in with yourself to find out if your attitude about age is blocking your enjoyment of something that is just too good to miss (i.e. your own life)!
How long will we live? Nobody knows for sure but longevity is on the rise and 40 or 50 years after your 50th birthday is a very long time to be living in what you consider a second class stage of life. The alternative is to embrace the next stage as an equal partner in your life journey.
We have made it our mission to help you make the change to aging fabulously and fearlessly. In the pursuit of eternal youth everyone loses. An older woman loses the gifts of age, society loses the wisdom of the mature woman and youth loses the hope of a deeper future. So you see this is not just about vanity or baby boomer angst. This attitude of fabulous, fearless aging is a social issue whose time has come.
We can’t wait to hear what you have to say.