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Sunday, September 27, 2015

An Active Mind

In a few short days I am due to celebrate my 76th birthday. The projection at my birth was that my maximum life expectancy was to age 47. So said the Actuaries, taking into account where I was born and my access to good health care. It's good that they are not always correct, although for many of my contemporaries they were indeed proved, sadly correct.

At age 76 I am firmly in denial. My place is supposed to be with my age group, spending leisurely days at the retirement home for seniors in day care, playing cards, and dominoes, and chatting away the time. I just don't see that happening. I feel no more than 55, and rather than to spend my time with the old folks, I have places to go, people to see, and things to do.

Having said all that, this week I attended a concert where the average age of the musicians was about 70. The band was all male, except one sole young woman, and one young man. They presented a full two-hour concert, in two parts with completed works by Spanish composers. It was wonderful to see all of these men conduct themselves with confidence, both on the stage and off. While their average age may well have been about 70, I think that they, like myself were all, in our heads about 55.

I recall as a young man being seriously impressed by a classical pianist who gave a one-man concert at the age of 90. He walked on the stage with vigor, gave his concert, including delightful comments to the audience, just as though he were a young artist. It occurred to me then that to keep ourselves young we should have something to focus our mind on that makes us grow. The key is growth, because in life we never stand still. We are either growing or diminishing. Even simply liiving in a foreign land with a language to learn means growth. You learn something new everyday.

It was wonderful to enjoy proof of this theory. I think I am on the right track. This may be something to bear in mind as we all grow older and older.

Copyright (c) 2015  Eugene Carmichael