The Third Third

Best. Aging. Advice. Ever.

Game. Set. Match.

Gerald Marzorati realistically describes with unflinching eye what he calls “the anteroom of the aged” in a recent New York Times Op-Ed.

Trigger alert:  the description is spot-on and potentially painful.  He writes, “SIXTY is not the new 40. Fifty isn’t either. Your lung capacity in late-middle age is in steady decline, as are the fast-twitch muscle fibers that provide power and speed. Your heart capacity has been ebbing for decades. Your sight has been getting worse, your other senses, too, and this, along with a gradually receding ability to integrate information you are absorbing and to then issue motor commands, means your balance is not what it used to be. (Your flattening arches aren’t helping.) Your prefrontal cortex — where the concentrating and deciding gets done — has been shrinking for some time, perhaps since you graduated from college. More of your career (more of your life) is behind you than in front of you. Do not kid yourself about this. You are milling in the anteroom of the aged.”

After this lament, however, Marzorati recommends a path to purpose — not change-the-world kind of purpose, but redevelop a satisfying-sense-of-self purpose — something that all too often eludes us as we age.  He’s good.  He writes, “Find something new, something difficult to immerse yourself in and improve at.”  He promises, not necessarily longer life, but better aging. 

This is an easily digestible piece of wisdom, a tangible piece of advice far more practical and useful than most.  For Marzorati, the something new was tennis.  What will it be for you?  What’s your path away from decline and onto a learning curve?  Better Aging:  Game. Set. Match.

comments powered by Disqus