My dear friend Maggy runs a brilliant Twitter account about how, with the right mindset, ageing can be a joyful process. Check out @AgeingBetter for all sorts of wonderful links, cartoons and inspiration from which we can all benefit, whatever age we are.
It is such an important message, perhaps one of the very few we need to help us through life. I sometimes find myself thinking that I can’t really take on X or Y new thing because, well, what’s the point? It can be easy to succumb to the tyranny of the mind which will happily gripe on about ‘wasted’ years. But what utter rubbish! In more lucid moments, I think nothing of tackling a new craft project, a difficult book or an online course.
I was very moved by this short BBC film which celebrates 84-year-old Ken and his newly acquired painting hobby. I adore the way in which he threw all care to the wind and just got stuck in. I also love his breezy confidence; he is in no way daunted by tackling a copy of such a famous and expansive painting. His attitude is so uplifting and inspirational.
“I reckon Canaletto would give me a pat on the back for doing this.”
Surely we can all learn from and be motivated by Ken. It’s never too late or unwise to spend time on something you really want to do.
“While I am fit and able, I’m going to carry on painting because I love it!”
And let me close with a tribute to our Grandad who, following retirement, studied for a BA Hons degree with the Open University, as well as taking up skiing in his 80s. Rach and I were obviously much younger when he was whizzing around taking on all these new interests, so I’m not sure we really appreciated the import of it. With the benefit of additional years ourselves, we can look back with pride at all his achievements. With an inheritance like that we can’t go wrong! 🙂
A lecturer once told us (a bunch of mature students) that they believed that every person should be issued with credits for eduction to use at their leisure throughout their lives because we all have different agendas or priorities. The pressure to learn – in the conventional sense – can be the inhibitor that stops us. This was certainly the case for me. As a rebel at school I never even came close to my full potential but yet at 44 I took on a Masters Degree (without any formal qualifications to back it up) and graduated.
For a short while I taught the older generation how to use digital gadgets; Laptops, tablets, phones etc. Whilst there were some that struggled with the point of technology, most embraced the change and saw this modern way of living open doors to a whole new world. So inspiring.
The lovely Ken has 40 years on my achievements which only brings joy and hope for what else I am still able to achieve in my life.
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever
– Mahatma Gandhi