August the 15th Julia Child would have been 100 years old. She passed away just two days prior to her 92nd Birthday on August the 13th 2004. The stages of her life read as creatively and as inspiring as her cookbooks. I am fascinated by the way she re-invented herself over and over again.
One of my dearest friends, Jonell Kirby Cash, is 83 and has lived her life in much the same way. I keep her company because she reminds me of who I want to be every day. I want to have it written of me that I accomplished things academically, traveled the world and made a difference…don’t you?
The World Bank says that the average life expectancy in the United States is 78.2 years. Clearly Julia and Jonell are above average…given your 78.2 years so far…how are you doing? I must ask myself…”am I living life to its fullest”? AgingStats.com reports
- The “Baby Boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964) started turning 65 in 2011, and the number of older people will increase dramatically during the 2010–2030 period. The older population in 2030 is projected to be twice as large as their counterparts in 2000, growing from 35 million to 72 million and representing nearly 20 percent of the total U.S. population.
- The growth rate of the older population is projected to slow after 2030, when the last “Baby Boomers” enter the ranks of the older population. From 2030 onward, the proportion age 65 and over will be relatively stable, at around 20 percent, even though the absolute number of people age 65 and over is projected to continue to grow. The oldest-old population is projected to grow rapidly after 2030, when the “Baby Boomers” move into this age group.
- The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the population age 85 and over could grow from 5.5 million in 2010 to 19 million by 2050. Some researchers predict that death rates at older ages will decline more rapidly than is reflected in the U.S. Census Bureau’s projections, which could lead to faster growth of this population.1–3
The conversation of aging certainly deserves merit, as we must all consider our quality of life and how we want to spend our days. Perhaps re-inventing yourself over and over allows for more than one career, the opportunity for something new and exciting, and to live in love engaging in relationships that are fulfilling.
In my mid life, I find myself surrounded by peers that are raising children and spending time with their parents in vigorous activities as well. The aging process is not the same as that of my grandparent’s parents. People have health concerns and living choices to make the same as always, but the future is bright for “Baby Boomers”. Perhaps it is the media and the internet that allows for us all to be uniquely informed.
What a gift that in 2012 you can learn a new skill, reach out to a lost love or simply make posts about your day in social media. It is slowly becoming the new normal. We are all wonderfully connected and fully alive if we choose to be. What about you? How are you connected? Maybe we can learn from Julia Childs, and Jonell Kirby Cash!
Managing Editor of A Public Relations Company