Why Turning 60 Is So Awesome (Even Amidst a Pandemic and Other Existential Crises)

longevity Nov 10, 2020

My brain and I have been having quite a few conversations lately as we ponder turning the big six-oh. The good news is we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s awesome! We’ve arrived at this mindset by reflecting back, considering the present and envisioning the future.

As we conclude our first sixty years on the planet, we have found it fascinating to look at life from these multiple perspectives. We say our “first sixty” because my brain and I have every intention of completing another sixty, and who knows, maybe even a third.

Now you may be thinking, my brain and I have a screw loose or something worse. But stick with us and we’ll happily explain.

First, looking back…

On this big day, it’s obvious to us that we’re all witnessing history in the making (in more ways than one).  As we were pondering this thought, my grandmother came to mind. We mulled over the fact that she witnessed so much in her lifetime. If she were alive today, she’s be one year into her third sixty. She made it over half-way through her second sixty and by the time she passed at age 94, she witnessed so much - everything from the Wright Brothers’ first flight over a sand dune in North Carolina to Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon (I was watching with her on that day!). She also lived through two World Wars, witnessed the birth of radio and television. The world’s population increased 400% from 1.5 – 6 billion people while she was alive and she experienced all the changes that went along with that.

The list goes on and on but it made me realize that I too have, and continue to, witness history in the making. I remember the craziness of the 1960’s (albeit vaguely), Apple’s 1984 commercial (I have been using Apple ever since), the birth of the internet and email (I was a Gmail beta-tester), and have watched as the smart phone has transformed our way of life. Both my grandma and I now also have the common experience of witnessing a hundred year pandemic.

It’s been a wild six decades and I can only imagine, and look forward to, all that will happen in the years ahead.

Now the present…

Our big sixtieth plan to spend two weeks in Belize have been scrapped (thanks COVID) but that’s ok. Thankfully my lovely wife Lee Ann surprised me with alternative plans and booked us in the Frank Capra Bungalow in La Quinta for a couple of nights. As an added bonus, we were quite surprised when we learned that Mr. Capra's typewriter is in on the desk our room where he wrote "It's a Wonderful Life" and other great films. How cool is that? 

As for the pandemic and all the other existential crises we're all living through at the moment, I can share with you a few calming words my 81 year-old friend Jackie told me a year or so ago, “It's only for now.” Words of wisdom that my brain and I like very much and refer to quite often when we encounter troublesome times. 

All that aside,  I am extremely fortunate and grateful for the fact that professionally, I'm finally at a place where I can pretty much do what I want (within reason). Gone are the days of working on other people’s projects and doing as I'm told (again, within reason). 

With that freedom in play, my brain and I have big plans indeed. For starters, we’re plunging head-first into our third career (knowledge commerce and building my own smart media brand - rudypoe.com) and Lee Ann and I are setting off on our new adventure - moving across the country to a warmer climate and a different perspective.

Why shouldn’t we? The way my brain and I see it, we’re just getting started. There’s no, “it sucks getting old” attitude for us. In fact, as we mentioned, we're going for a second sixty - and we’re not kidding. For the past three years we’ve been fully engaged in a longevity plan and feel better than ever. We’re the healthiest we’ve ever been and we have over 150 gigabytes of test results and imaging data to prove it.

You know the old saying, “I wish I knew then what I know now.”? Well, I do know now what I didn’t know then. (At least, my brain does.) I always joke that I'm a slow learner and I need another sixty just to make use of what I’ve learned thus far. That being the case, as my brain and I charge into our second sixty (with all the knowledge and wisdom we've garnered during the first sixty), we feel like the green flag just dropped and we’re going full throttle into turn one. It’s an exciting time to be alive and we’re fully engaged. 

And now for the future…

My brain and I spend a lot (and I mean a lot) of time learning about where things are headed. I highly recommend this as, by all indications, humankind is entering into the most disruptive decade in the history of our “civilized” world. Now you may be thinking that sounds like a bad thing but we’re here to tell you, au contraire. Yes, it’s true that all the changes that are afoot will be met with resistance but if everyone would just chill out, embrace change and get on board with the new era we’re entering into -  the Creative Age, the Age of Abundance – we would get to this fascinating and exponentially better future much faster, easier and with significantly less drama. (If you're having trouble 'embracing change" check out my online class aptly entitled, "Embracing Change" at rudypoe.com/embracing-change

Back to our concept of our first, second and perhaps third sixty…

You may be thinking… that’s nuts! If that’s the case, my brain and I respectfully disagree. I mentioned earlier that we’re entering into the most disruptive decade in the history of humankind. This includes the science of longevity. Now if you’re like my Mom, you might be saying, “Why would you want to live that long?” To that (like I say to my Mom) I say, “Why would we not?”

Just to be clear, I'm not talking about sitting around binge-watching the news, using a walker to get to around the house and looking forward to nothing more than my next prescription refill. We don’t just want to increase our lifespan, my brain and I want to increase our healthspan. In other words, we’re talking happy, healthy living. In fact, our doctor’s attitude is, “I want you to die as old and healthy as possible.” To that we say, “Bring it on!”.

After having spent our first sixty years simply learning how things work, it’s time to really get started. Part of what gives us this attitude is my brain and I simply love learning. The more we learn, the more we want to know. And the more we know, the more we want to see and the more we want to do. We had a professor in college who introduced himself as, “The dumbest one in the room.” He followed that up with, “I say this because the more I know, the more I realize how little I know.” That’s our attitude exactly. We love knowing that as much as we’ve learned, there’s so much more we don’t.

And so it’s with a positive, future-forward attitude and super-excitement for all that’s to come, my brain and I can’t wait to get started on our second-sixty. Like I said, turning sixty is awesome!

Onward!

- Rudy

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