Grow old or pursue your dream?

Gabriel García Márquez states it beautifully, “It is not true that people stop pursuing their dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing their dreams.”

When dad turned 90 I realized 60 was young (and I wasn’t quite there yet). Think about it, the first 30 years, you’re finding your way, the next 30 years you’re working your way and I say, use the last 30-plus years to do it your way.

The mindset of the greatest generation was to work until you are 65, retire, receive Medicare and Social Security. I remember, Dad did that and within a year he was bored out of his mind and partnered with a good friend in a small exploration business.

That kept him busy until he was about 80. Then he started volunteering at a church-run thrift shop weekly. He quit that when mom got sick and she became his full-time job.

As I enter my 60s I’m launching a company, working my consulting job and writing articles. I love the deadlines and the intellectual stimulation. I think we all do. That makes me think it really is up to us to stimulate our minds in ways that make sense for each of us individually. At the age of 77 Donna Shalala ran and was elected to Congress; at the age of 81 Madeline Albright is on tour for her latest book, and at 93 Jimmy Carter is still relevant. Yes, they’ve chosen a national platform but being relevant in a smaller community is no less satisfying.

With today’s technology and car-ride services there is no excuse to stay at home if you want to get out. And, if you get out, you’re more relevant. I know an octogenarian amateur playwright. (Soon we’ll be seeing one of his summer shorts.) There are several septegenerian Starbucks employees. All are happy and “pursuing their dreams.” Let’s join them.

Frances Reaves, Esq., a graduate of the University of Miami Law School, spent 10 years as a litigator/lobbyist. Today, she Is an accomplished business woman who, when her parents could no longer take care of themselves, learned the ins and outs of senior care (or the lack thereof). She founded Parent Your Parents to assist seniors and their children through the myriad pitfalls and options of “senior care” in the 21st Century. If you have any questions or comments contact Frances at hfrancesr@parentyourparents.com.


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