Come celebrate with me!
This month I celebrate my birthday every day! I'm giving myself the gift of feeling GREAT about aging...it's my birthday and I'll age if I want to:
Drowning out the negative messages that getting older is something to be ashamed of...that we should find a rock to crawl under and wait unless we can claw back some semblance of youth or at least die trying. Nope, that's not for me! I'm already planning my 100th birthday celebration!
As Iris Apfel, world's oldest living teenager says, "Get old but don't get boring!"
In a world obsessed with the glow of youth, turning 77 might seem like stepping into the shadows. But that's where society gets it wrong. The shadows are where the legends lurk, where stories steeped in wisdom and rebellion are whispered.
Age 77? That's not an expiration date; it's a badge of honor. It's surviving every curveball life's thrown, every judgmental glare, and every narrow-minded notion of "old." It's decades of laughter, tears, battles, and victories.
Maybe 77 is the new age of revolution, a time to challenge, to break stereotypes, and prove that life doesn't peak; it just keeps evolving. The years haven't made me frail; they've made me fierce.
As Seth Godin said on a recent podcast: "All my life, I've tried to be difficult...that was my sport!" I've been a rebel with a cause since my first and what will be my last breath, celebrating 'change for good,' civil rights, women's movement, a working mother growing a million dollar business. How could I be anything different today as I fight to Change the Face of Aging??
While the world chases after fleeting moments, I've mastered the art of savoring them. While I might get distracted by the superficial BSO (bright shiny object), I love to learn, to process and delve into the depths of existence. Reading Ram Dass Still Here, helps me embrace aging and changing, every day, even more than his Be Here Now, which btw, my 18 year old granddaughter is reading right now.
So, the next time someone hints at 77 being "over the hill," I will smirk and let them in on the secret: the view's much better from the top and yes, still, the best is yet to come.
If retirement or the next chapter is calling your name, if I can help you realize your vision in business and lifestyle, email me. Let's make it happen now!
Talk to me: Susan@SusanLBrooks.com.
Featured Modern Elder*
Thank you, dear Readers, dear Friends, dear Family, especially our devoted children, Adam and Rachel, for their presence, guidance, and unconditional love. We are forever blessed.
I wasn't sure Barry would make it to his 80th birthday. Pancreatic cancer, starting with the Whipple 'mac truck' surgery, doesn't have great survival stats. But Barry was a Zumba specimen at the time, teaching his 12 (yes, 12!) Zumba classes a week at various senior living facilities. His ladies would wait for his arrival, assume their regular places in the floor line-up, ready to have fun dancing to the specific songs that Barry would choreograph just for them. It was a love fest for 12 years. Barry's classes were legendary, even when he took his classes to zoom during covid.
After the Whipple, Barry's days were filled with chemo, radiation, sleeping through 20 hour days, and all the side effects we didn't expect. His poor circulation was the biggest surprise problem for him, specifically when his index finger on his left hand simply died and needed to be amputated. He wrote with his left hand, played guitar with his left hand…this was now all gone. Barry's grief was real, even when he was pronounced cancer-free a year ago.
Here's when Barry, The Modern Elder showed up. Finally, he got sick and tired with being depressed. His grief for what he could no longer do took its toll on every day…and, I confess, I couldn't live my life watching him like this. Only Barry could choose another way to live the rest of his life, looking forward to what he CAN do. He bought himself and started playing a ukulele. He started reading Ram Das' Still Here, sharing his favorite passages with me. He lifts weights, going from 108 lbs. to 127 lbs. Most important of all, he signed up for a class that gives him a new credential: Functional Aging certification. He plans on offering his seniors a new way of living with movement as medicine in January 2024. Barry will do whatever it takes to live and serve another day!
Forward thinking and action to serve others is the necessary mind-set that Barry is celebrating on his 80th Birthday. Here are a few of his life lessons that he's excited to share with you:
If retirement or the next chapter is calling your name, if I can help you realize your vision in business and lifestyle, email me. Let's make it happen now! Susan@SusanLBrooks.com.
P.S. My lessons as Barry's 24/7 caregiver is a whole other story of lessons learned. Please call on me if you want to share yours...
*Chip Conley, best-selling author and speaker, hospitality entrepreneur and leading thought leader, created The Modern Elder Academy's mission "to inspire the ability to reframe a lifetime of experience and recognize one's mastery, relevance, and value in the modern workplace." The Modern Elder* is Conley's term and effort that "liberates and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path of growing whole, not old...The Modern Elder*marries wisdom and curiosity."
Every month this newsletter will Feature the stories and wisdom of Modern Elders*. Please send in your Modern Elder* nomination. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT