Being Wise about Being Old

By Kerry Cue

Sibylesque tim Wilson Quote

Sibylesque is dedicated to challenging the ‘little old lady’ stereotype and developing a realistic, yet positive outlook on aging. We have already noted that a positive attitude to aging can increase your quality of life, improve your general health and even increase your life expectancy.

Sibylesque Grandmas Rock

Yet wisdom lies in not only tackling life full on, but also knowing when to bow out gracefully. I know a number of males, who have waited until retirement to go wild. Several bought motorbikes for the first time in their sixties. One bought a 1000cc Suzuki. But he was so worried about sitting in the middle of the road on his big bike, he’d only make left hand turns. He’d take ages to ride anywhere because he had to sort of spiral into his destination.

Another 60+ retiree bought a Harley. He won’t ride it in the rain. I picture him riding his Harley holding up an umbrella. His wife/biker’s-moll said he went out riding one day and came back. He forgot his glasses. He went out and came back again. He forgot his boots. Then he forgot his wallet. ‘Do you know what this means?’ she asked me. ‘We’re talking Alzheimer’s on a Harley’. Is he a danger on the road? Should he hand in his helmet? And who decides?

You are the one who must decide in life when it is time, in one situation or another, to take a backseat. The decisions may be BIG. Should I retire? Should I downsize? Should I sell the motorbike? Or, SMALL! Should I get others to climb the ladder? Should I stop wearing those floppy, loose-fitting, and potentially dangerous, shoes?

Life is, and has always been, a gamble. Just like the lyrics of the Kenny Rogers song to be wise about old age ‘You’ve got to know when to hold ’em/ Know when to fold ’em/ Know when to walk away/ And know when to run.’

Until then, Go Grandma, Go!!!!!

Photo Source:  Corbis Images

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Sense of Purpose

 by Kerry Cue

Living with purpose quotePaula SpanLiving with Purpose, (New York Times, 3 JUN 2014) written by The New Old Age columnist Paula Span (left) is a significant article, which provides both insight and inspiration on the subject of aging well. The conclusion summarised in the article and backed by extensive research, applies equally to all age groups.

A sense of purpose has many health benefits. It contributes to ‘satisfaction and happiness, better physical functioning and even better sleep.’

‘They want to make a contribution’ explained Dr Patricia Boyle, Rush University, Chicago, who conducted a longitudinal study of 1,000 elderly subjects. ‘They want to feel a apart of something that extends beyond themselves.” A sense of purpose can come from mentoring as well as passing on memories and experience to the young.

Sibyls Emblem Red Frescoe

This is, of course, the reason the Sibylesque blog came into being. Why not become a Sibyl? What memories, experience or words of wisdom would you like to pass onto the young, or not so young?

 We, THE SIBYLS, declare Paula Span an Honorary Sibyl for her generosity of spirit in sharing her personal stories, insight and wisdom.

When the Times Comes coverPaula Span is journalist with extensive experience writing for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. She is also the author of When the Times Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share their Struggles and Solutions. You can learn more about Paula at her website.

Photo source: Paula Span’s website.

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