I was in the Sixties and I do remember it. So clearly I wasn’t one of the ‘swingers’ who went for it big time – then my memory would be a blur! Instead I was a teenager, watching from a distance, working hard to get my bouffant as big as Dusty Springfield, my bare feet as sexy as Sandy Shaw and my eyeliner as thick as Cilla Black.
At the time, it was all perfectly natural and the only way to be a teenager. I assumed endless criticism about the length of my skirt was par for the course, not the major cultural shift it turned out to be.
Now I see we were paving the way for something amazing to happen. Never before has one generation seen so much change. From having the first household telephones, we nurse our mobile phones like an extra limb. And from knowing just about our own neighbourhood, we can access any knowledge we need, wherever we happen to be in the world.
Kid, we moved mountains!
So now the same generation are entering the Second Act of life. Will we amble gently through these all important final years, looking and behaving like Grannies and Granddads of old? Or will we do this in our own way too? As Dylan Thomas counseled:
Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
For some, that questioning, resisting, raging against the norm, is hard wired and there is no choice other than to do this Second Act in their own way. For others, the pull of the familiar – what we saw in our own parents and grandparents – tempts them gently into old age.
So what will you do? Are you ready to give up and slide south along with your backside? Or are you on for the challenge?
As my sister often reminds me – the rainy day is here. What am I waiting for? It may never get better than this, so I might as well go for it now while I can. On the other hand, if I really go for it, it may get a LOT better yet – and what have I got to lose? It’s now or never!
Age with the Spirit of the 60’s
As young people, we contributed to a revolution that broke the mould, opening the door for others to follow. If we did it then, we are the best people to do it now. We have the experience, why not use it?
Old style thinking guides us to believe that aging brings limitation. Yet, we are healthier than any generation before, we have more knowledge available to us and we still have a job to do. The challenge is still there – will we follow the norm or will we do it our own way, in the style of the 60’s?
It is all there for us to go for and it’s a real step into the unknown. But just like before, if we do it together, we can make it fun, fascinating and fabulous. That’s what the Second Act is all about – forget growing old and past it. Now is the time to grow wise, productive and interesting.