Do you realize that, once you turn fifty, you’ve lived 18, 250 days on this earth? If you’ve reached your sixtieth birthday, you have been blessed with more than 21,900 days. And, on the date you turn seventy, the grand total leaps to 25,550. These are substantial figures—even for dates that are considered to be milestone birthdays. Given the numbers, it behooves each of us to choose to spend our days wisely and well.
Mary Jo Kreitzer, director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota, shared her thoughts on aging in an article entitled, A Good Age. “I think of growing whole, not just growing old. We’re all going to age. Growing whole is developing my full capacity as a human being.” Jane Fonda repeated a similar sentiment when she appeared on Oprah’s Mastser Class on the OWN network.
What a lovely shift from that stale and dispiriting paradigm society teaches us about older age. Rather than quietly shuffling off to the sidelines, Kreitzer encourages people over fifty to ask themselves the big picture questions, engage fully in life, and come into their “wholeness” with purpose and intention.
- What do I care about?
- What do I discern my purpose to be?
- What are my dreams?
- What would I do if I weren’t afraid?
As the great Betty Freidan once said: “Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
Who better than us boomers to celebrate the third season of our lives with strength, intention, and the search for wholeness?