This is beautifully written, and I applaud you. However, and this is offered with respect, I have to challenge the assumptions and thinking behind it. So much of it is societal. I cannot speak for anyone but myself, and my reality is nobody else’s. By the same token, I constantly interview men and women (especially women ) in their mid to late sixties who are exploding into life. They are runners, pilots, scuba divers, explorers, adventurers. Many didn’t even begin until they were past sixty.
I won’t tell you- because it would be dishonest- that I don’t have the odd day when I feel lonely. You bet. I have no partner and no family. But eleven hours ago I signed on to climb Kilimanjaro for the second time. I am NO professional athlete, I just work hard and am damned determined. Stupid sometimes, too, but determined. What family I do have is vast, varied and all over the world. That’s not a bad tradeoff.
What I noticed about those people whom I interview who have such fantastic lives is the folks they have in their inner circles. All ages, all kinds, all backgrounds, and many who inspire them. I disagree that age is just a number. It is what we are. As Gandalf said in LOTR, it’s what we do with the time that is left to us.
I love a cuddly day with a dog. But I have to start seriously training again for that climb. That’s not a statement of judgment, it’s just a choice. As it is for us all. The future is what we make of it, every day a gift, especially after sixty.