Life in the Ageing Lane

With increasing longevity, particularly over the past century, our lives can roughly be divided into thirds. During the first third, we grow up and become adults. During the second third, we pursue careers and raise families. Many of us can now realistically expect to experience another third of our lives in our ageing years.

How much do you know about ageing? Do you have the information you need to prepare for the realities of your own ageing? Do you think you can age with energy, enthusiasm and wellness? Or, on the contrary, do you think that ageing is a time of the big “Ds”: decline, disease, destitution and death.

Our older years are likely to be challenging in many ways, including the possibility of financial stress, shifts and changes regarding work and family roles, heath problems, and the loss of long term friends and family members through death. But, as we synthesize our life’s experiences and, hopefully, become wiser, it can also be a time marked by joy, caring, a deepening awareness of our humanness and connectivity, and a chance to contribute to others in unique and meaningful ways.

The Conscious Ageing Corner (CAC) is dedicated to promoting healthy and meaningful lives in our older years. It is based on the premise that we can do much to take charge of our older years if we are willing to learn and have the motivation, curiosity, and attitudes to realize our potential for growth and development. CAC encourages reflection about the challenges and opportunities that we are likely to experience in the last third of our lives and suggests ways we can create and implement effective ways of responding to them.

CAC shares stories about people in the Nelson-Tasman area who, each in their own ways, have chosen to live life fully, developing effective ways to deal with the challenges of the last third of life. Their lives reflect some of my favourite quotes.

  • Eleanor Roosevelt: “One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”
  • William Saroyan: “Try to be alive because you will be dead soon enough.”
  • George Santayana: “There is no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval.”
  • Cicero: “The most fruitful of all the arts is the art of living well.”
  • Gene Perret: “There’s no ‘best’ age in life. There’s only putting the best life into your age.” .
  • George Bernard Shaw: “Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as bright as possible before handing it on to a future generation.”


Article by Mike Milstein