I was testing out my parent’s exercise bike in their basement when I found a very old book. It was first published in the 1956, and written by Dorothy Carnegie, wife of Dale Carnegie. In 1984 the fourth edition was published by E.P. Dutton. In 1985, a fifth edition was published by Penguin. Currently it seems to be out of print.
Full of vignettes and advice, it was a chapter towards the end of the book that struck me the most. The chapter was titled: How Old Are You?
In the chapter Dorothy gave examples of people who had worked far past their retirement years. Why would I want to know about that?
Because they loved what they were doing so much that they kept it up.
They didn’t see retirement age as the time to sit around because their age dictated the end of purposeful work.
And that got me excited.
Because I never seem to run out of things to be interested in. And sometimes I wonder if I will have to give it all up some day.
And I was concerned that there will come a time when I have to sit around. I don’t think I’d do that very well.
The most interesting thing was a piece of information that I had heard before, but never really listened to: that people who enjoy what they are doing, and continue to work and enjoy their work, stay more alert and healthy as they age than their peers who disengage.
I’m not nearing retirement age, but someday I will be. And I hope I’m interested enough in what I’m doing to stay engaged with it as long as I want to.