In case you didn’t know October 1st was UN international day of older persons! Quite a mouthful don’t you think? And at what age are you considered an older person? My 17 year old might think that at 54 I’m ancient while my parents who are in their 80’s think I’m still only a young one.
October 1st marks the end of positive ageing week in Ireland where events were being held nationwide through the auspices of charity Age Action.To me positive ageing means creating a mindset and attitude beyond age, wrinkles, grey hair and muffin tops. As we progress into different decades we are offered the opportunity to reclaim our identity, recharge our ambitions and replenish our knowledge. As we ascend the age numerology ladder ( a much nicer way of saying *get older*) we are gaining more and more experience and as a very good friend stated recently we can use our many past mistakes as portals to new discoveries.
For women, especially in this youth and image obsessed era, ageing can be a minefield of self doubt, insecurities and in some cases self loathing. However there are some trail blazers who are creating a new reality for the older person and are showing us that it’s never too late to reach your potential. One such lady is Iris Apfel , a ninety five year old business women , interior designer and fashion icon whose large, oversized black rimmed glasses and many chunky braclets have been featured in glossy fashion magazines all over the world. In 2013 Apfel was listed as one of the best dressed ladies over 50 in The Guardian. In fact they are currently creating emoticons, the modern day equivalent of a postage stamp, in her honour.
Then in the sporting arena we have 86 year old Sr Madonna Buder, star of Nike’s ‘unlimited youth ‘ ad who has completed 45 ironman triathlons – yes you read that correctly 45 triathlons. What do these amazing ladies have in common? Craving more for their lives, not allowing their age become a label to prevent them from creating variety, curiosity and achievement in their everyday activities . Sr Madonna states ‘ You carry your attitude with you – you can either achieve or self destruct. If you think positively, you can even turn a negative into a positive. I realised the only failure was not to try, because your effort in itself is a success’.
In the TV programme America Got Talent last week a 62 year old Ronee Martin reignited her dream, rocked the stage in a sequinned trouser suit and sang her heart out to thousands *we have to do this thing called living * she states.
So if these ladies in their sixties, eighties and nineties can overcome ageism to achieve incredible success, maybe then it’s time for us in our thirties, forties, fifties to reassess our life , education, health and fitness goals, create new beliefs about what we can achieve and just go for it! This October why not write out some new goals, new dreams and start to put the plans in place.
If you need some help just contact me in FB Gaye Moore : The Potentialist