Do you live in black & white?
Maybe it’s time to edit – add color to your life.
The French call it joie de vivre. Las Vegas holds a “life is beautiful” festival every year. Mallory Hopkins wrote, “Life is short. Smile while you still have teeth.”
Wear purple sneakers with hot pink trim.
Look at our peers – George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by skydiving from an airplane. David Letterman sports a Santa Claus beard. Mick Jagger had an eighth baby with his 30-year old wife – 45 years younger than his eldest child.
Go for it – drizzle hot fudge topped with a cherry on your diet vanilla ice cream.
According to a recent Harris Poll, adults over 65 are happier than younger people. In other words, happiness increases with age. Take advantage – get with the game.
Joan Collins married Percy Gibson when she was 69 and he was 37. Geena Davis is 15 years older than her husband. Emmanuel Macron, the new President of France, is married to his former teacher, Brigitte Trogneux, 24 years his senior.
In this millennium we can do anything.
Ask Jo-Anne Lema, founder of afterfiftyliving.com, who wrote in 6 steps to Starting Your Own Business Over 50, “The great George Burns once said Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.”
Consider another George who paints portraits of veterans he sent into combat when he was commander-in-chief. He even published a book of these paintings. Former President Bush explained, “I’m not sure how the art . . . will hold up to critical eyes. After all, I’m a novice.”
Then there’s the infamous Donald who fits the age but acts like a kid with temper tantrums. The only thing he paints is ketchup on his fast food burger and fries.
Bill Maher, age 61 and host of the political TV show, Real Time, calls it The Art of the Meal.
The list of successful after-fiftyers is long and well respected. Robert Herrick said it best in a poem written nearly 400 years ago at age 57:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
Old time is still a-flying.
In other words, carpe diem – “seize the day.”
Grandma Moses seized the day when she started painting at age 76. Now her work hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, seized the day when he became the oldest person to travel in space at age 77. Benjamin Franklin seized the day when he was the oldest man to sign The Constitution at age 81.
Carpe diem. Now it’s your turn.
Maybe you’re not into politics (bad for the digestion) and the most you can paint is fake butter on lo-calorie bread. You might not be able to jump out of an airplane but you can go on an elder trek to Antarctica or train for the Senior Olympics.
Join The Red Hat Society (a “playgroup for women”), volunteer on an archeological dig, or do Zumba Gold.
Wear your purple sneakers with hot pink trim to dinner.
Drizzle hot fudge topped with a cherry on your diet vanilla ice cream.
Leave black & white for your photography.