We are not too old to learn new tricks, new ways of expressing ourselves, new avenues of creativity. You have to admit it took some creativity to get this old….whatever age. Many people have felt that writing, painting, even some sporty activities were out of their reach—-until they weren’t. If we are alive, we are still growing, and trying new activities is a great way to grow.
In our thirties, we were most likely competitive or busy comparing our lives to others, always coming up short. In our forties, we were busy helping our children plan their future, or we were planning our retirement. We seriously wondered if we had enough for retirement and if our portfolios needed adjustments in our fifties. After 65, we stopped trying to impress, compare or stress out over what we cannot control. It’s time to be honest—be who we always suspected we were.
We all can sense we don’t have the brain capacity that we once had. We feel much more forgetful, and maybe we think our cognitive skills are declining. We are often treated differently—condescendingly as we age. I have some good news! Our brain compensates for the decline of neurons processing information less efficiently. As we age, according to Neuroscientist Roberto Cabeza of Duke University, the walls between the two hemispheres of our brain fall, and the two halves start working in tandem. “It’s similar to the way you need two hands to lift a weight that you could lift with one hand when you were younger. In the brain, there’s a nice, natural distribution of resources. You get more neural tissue to support the task.”
As the brain’s flexibility improves, so too may the temperament we bring to our work. (Just knowing this gives me new hope and disposition!) There’s no question that personalities can calcify with age, causing us to be less receptive to new experiences and flat-out crabby when we are faced with them. But it doesn’t have to be that way. That is the good news! If we stay open to new ideas, we can be more innovative in life. Instead of a mid-life crisis or feeling old, we can consider reorienting ourselves. We have a talent for reflective thinking. The wisdom that comes with age is to our advantage! It’s our ability to reflect upon the past with insight that gives us a creative perspective that needs to be shared with our world.