I am 58 years “OLD.”

by Jeff Weiss

I celebrated my 58th birthday a couple of weeks ago.  There is nothing particularly momentous or earth-shattering about this particular milestone so there was no big birthday bash.  I spent the day with my family who feted me accordingly (thank you very much!).

I’ve been reflecting on how my life has changed since I hit the big 55 three years ago when I officially became an Active Ager. The reality is, my life is pretty much the same with a few exceptions:

  • My aches and pains are growing and are more noticeable after participating in physically active pursuits. Not only are more areas of my body feeling pain, but the recovery is taking longer.
  • Conversations during dinner with friends have become more focused on how each of us are dealing with our respective health issues.
  • I am able to more frequently take in the benefits from Senior Discounts — partly because I am older and partly because the mask I have been wearing during COVID accentuates my grey hair!
  • More of my friends are retiring. I have mixed feelings about this as some of them are completely bored, while others are relaxed and enjoying life.

I have also been thinking about what hasn’t really changed over the past three years:

  • I am still inspired and invigorated by the work I am doing, the people I am meeting and the conversations I am having around our mission and the work we are doing with Age of Majority.
  • I am just as competitive as I have ever been, particularly on the tennis or pickleball court. Nothing makes me happier than beating someone half my age in a match!
  • Most brands and marketers still aren’t “talking” to or engaging me. We have seen some improvement but there still hasn’t been a lot of movement for the most part.

Given the above, I am convinced that I must continue to stay active so that I can live a long, healthy and happy life.  With this in mind, here is my Top 10 List of things that I need to do now as waiting won’t make these any easier:

  1. Be physically active every day and work on improving my cardio, flexibility, strength and balance.
  2. Eat less and live the mantra, “Like food and love my body”. I generally eat a fairly healthy diet and I need to stop eating when I am full (those extra few bites never taste as good anyway!).
  3. Be open to trying new things — don’t let “no” get in the way of exploration.
  4. Always stimulate my brain, including solving the Wordle puzzle on a daily basis.
  5. Take the time to re-energize and rejuvenate — everyone has their own way of doing this from meditation to reading to watching (mindless) shows. I use a variety of techniques depending on how I feel and the situation.
  6. Maintain my wide variety of friends who have different interests and different ages!
  7. Get the right amount of sleep, which for me means at least 7 hours.
  8. Live in the present while planning for the future. None of us knows when our time will be up so I better enjoy things now without jeopardizing my future.
  9. Don’t hang out with people I don’t care for — life is too short to waste time with people I don’t like.
  10. Make others laugh — I take great joy out of making other people happy (even though not everyone appreciates my sense of humor).

I realize my experiences and goals are highly personal and may not resonate with some readers. I do hope I have offered something relatable, though, in the idea of sitting back and reflecting on the things that feed our happiness and on those that perhaps we should de-prioritize in our lives.

From a marketing perspective, I believe there is learning for brands and companies in understanding the mindset of Active Agers, who may be dealing with their share of “aches and pains” but who are also looking forward with enthusiasm to the knowns and unknowns ahead.

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