From another one of my favorite websites – AGEIST, this passage is from the emails they send and it speaks volumes to me (because I can relate)…
Never stop doing (walking, being and learning) and create!!
This week we received a number of messages from people who are having a hard time, struggling with how to transition careers, how to deal with chanign bodies, how to manage the grief of losing loved ones. AGEIST has presented options for how to live by showing examples of people who have gone through a struggle or are wrestling with one. But these people have succeeded or had a plan for how to succeed; they are exceptional human beings. What about the person whose career has vaporized at 55 or the person who is so terrified about what to do they become paralyzed, unable to move forward believing they have nowhere to go – what about them?
One email I received this week told me that 50% of women in the UK over 50 can’t get up from a sofa without using their hands. This saddens me deeply, and if we at AGEIST can move the needle even slightly on this, it’s worth trying.
This is what I know.
Confusing these two leads to paralysis. Let’s embrace hard — but incrementally, as we are not used to it. Start small.
How to start? Walk. Just walk. Every day for 3 weeks walk 10,000 steps. How far is that? It’s about an hour and a half of brisk walking. Additional to my daily exercise routines, every night after dinner I walk for 45 minutes or so around my neighborhood. I listen to music, podcasts, or just enjoy the sounds of the neighborhood. Simple victory and I sleep better and feel better.We have begun. You are so much stronger than you think you are.
Marlo Thomas, 79, actress, writer, philanthropist and feminist
I love this passage from her article (full portion in the link)…BTW, I love the book!
A couple of years ago, she wrote a book, It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over, in which she interviewed more than 60 women about a subject we at AGEIST have come to champion: redefining later life. It landed on The New York Times bestseller list. One story in particular resonated with her, of a graphic designer in her early 40s who had always dreamed of being a doctor – but felt it was too late. Thomas just didn’t understand the hold up around age. “I never think to myself, ‘Oh I’m in my 70s, is it too late to fulfill this dream or the other?’ ” she says. “I remember [the actress] Ruth Gordon saying something that became my favorite mantra: ‘Never face the facts. If you face the facts you’ll never get out of bed in the morning.’ And I just love that. There are a million people who will give you a million reasons why you can’t do something.”
For the past 37 years, she’s been married to a man – TV talk show host Phil Donahue — who loves to relax and spend his retirement the traditional way. It’s something Thomas respects but hasn’t been able to manage herself.
“I have a need to constantly be creative,” she says.
“For me, it’s life-giving: creativity, purposefulness, having something to solve. I think life is about solving problems.”
Nowadays, she’s spread that creativity across a variety of outlets.
“I love working as an actor, but I also love being creative in many ways,” she told me. “Yes, above all, I want to work as an actor, but when you can’t find just the job that you want to do, that’s when I think your creativity needs to kick in and you do something else. For me, it’s writing a book, or creating a podcast or a fashion line. Something that’s creative and that puts me together with a community of creative people.”
And I think that’s something that’s stuck with me about how Marlo Thomas works. It’s not simply about pursuing other interests, it’s about pursuing them with purpose; with the idea that you’re going to make something of it. When we spoke, she dropped a line about why she wanted to get into acting – but in retrospect, it really could apply to everything else in her life as well:
“People ask me: ‘If you weren’t an actress, what would you have been?’ and I say, ‘I would’ve been a pain in the ass!’ Because that’s all I ever really wanted to do.” (boy can I relate to this quote)