Disconnecting from your community and giving up on your dreams can be just about as dangerous to your health as smoking. For many people, retirement is an opportunity to pick up where they left off in their education. Others use their retirement years as an opportunity to breathe new life into a dream they had to sideline earlier in life. Regardless of what it is you dream of doing, there’s a world full of seniors out there who are ready to prove it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.
Graduating in Your 90’s
Like many of her generation, Leona Paulus had to quit school when she was 12 to help out on the family farm. When is it too late to go back to school? People like Leona have proven it’s never too late. More than eight decades after dropping out, it was only this year the 96-year-old has finally earned her high school diploma. Her inspirational example earned her a letter of congratulations from President Trump, as well as the pride of her son who came to see her graduate.
Stage Performing in Your 70s
With only a quick glance, you can tell there’s something special about the Young@Heart Chorus, a group of elderly performers who put on shows intended for senior audiences. The group first began performing in 1983, when some of the members still included veterans of both World Wars.
In fact, all members of the chorus have to be a minimum 73 years old to participate, and many performs are in their late 80s. While some of members of the chorus joined with a lifetime of professional experience, many others began with no experience at all. So if you find yourself asking is it too late to be successful, remember the Young@Heart Chorus.
Trying Sports in Your 80s
If you start learning a sport for the first time at age 50, you’ll probably never be the best in the world at it. But there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from becoming a fierce competitor, as well as enjoying the benefits of having an active hobby. Few people prove that better than Frances Woofenden, who has collected a small mountain of awards and medals after getting started in waterskiing at the age of 50.
Today she’s 81, and Frances still goes waterskiing 5-days a week at the lakes near her home. Watching Frances waterski, it’s easy to see her as living proof that when you keep your body in good shape, age is just a number.
Sharing Your Experiences
You may remember the name Bette Calman. She had a television show for more than two decades, has written three popular books about yoga, and has been the feature of dozens of articles. Today she’s a prominent example of how a person can age successfully. After working for more than two decades past the age of retirement teaching physically challenging yoga, Bette Calman has finally retired at the age of 87. She still practices yoga on her own, which she credits with keeping her mind and body in such excellent shape after all these years.
Finding New Love at Any Age
If you spend a lot of time on the Internet, you may have seen Murphy Wilson and Lucinda Myers engagement photos recently go viral over social media. Their engagement came after Myers had spent nearly three decades single. Wilson’s romantic life had fared little better after the passing of his wife, which left him with children and grandchildren to look after.
In the weeks since they first captured the attention of the Internet, the happy couple has married. In that time, they had plenty of time to reflect on why their engagement photos resonated well with so many people. They both agreed that it’s because their photos give people hope that anyone can find love, no matter their age, and that it’s never too late to find that special someone.
If you’re looking for some inspirational figures to look to, these older adults prove that there is plenty of living to do after retirement. It’s never too late to start doing something you love and writing exciting new chapters in a long life story.
Do you know of someone older doing really interesting things and pursuing long-delayed passions? Let us know in the comments below!