Bear with me – I know this post is gonna come off as negative/bitter/generally shitty, but the following is a legitimate question/concern of mine.
I’ve noticed something lately: In Hollywood, you can grow old gracefully. At the Golden Globe awards, there were loads of folks in the second halves of their lives, rocking the shit out of it. Helen Mirren, Harrison Ford, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, I could go on for a while. The host for the night, Ricky Gervais, didn’t create The Office till he was 40 and ten years later, is worth about a google dollars. I saw a profile recently on Albert Brooks, who, at 64, has two young children, Oscar buzz, and a best-selling book. Martin Scorsese just directed the acclaimed Hugo, which was shot in 3D, a medium he’d never previously worked with before, and not only challenged himself with, freaking rose to it, making one of the most lushly rendered 3D pics to date. Steven Speilberg, at 66, challenged himself with a medium he’d never worked with before, animation, and churned out the beautiful and award-winning Adventures of Tintin. In New York, I had the pleasure of seeing a supreme bad-ass and legend, Alan Rickman, on Broadway. Professor Snape is 65, busting his ass 6 nights a week on stage, and killing it (while presumably loving it). This is not to mention the 2 or 3 films a year he stars in.
When the ol’ average American hits retirement age (whatever the hell that is, rising by the minute), it seems the universal goal is to be able to relax, travel, visit with friends/family, dote on your grandchildren. AKA: Give up. Just kidding. Kind of. Do people dream of still challenging themselves into their 60s?? Trying HUGE new things??? Most careers don’t allow you to still thrive at that age. Do you know any 70-year old nurses who are still rocking it out, balancing taking care of tons of patients, dealing with hospital computer updates and upgrades, the changes in medications, medicine overall, regulations ever-tightening… I think not. In my miserable place of employment (healthcare – collective GROAN), most people over the age of 60 have slowed down, and have long since lost the capacity to keep up with ever-changing technologies. Of course there are exceptions to these rules, and I know a few over 55ers who will still give me a run for my money and kick maaaaaajor ass in the “I’m an awesome human being and employee department” – but it ain’t the norm, folks.
Is it possible? In the mid-west, in a “get married and pump out babies” culture, to “hit your stride” later in life?? Maybe it’s because I constantly yearn for a different life, and yearn to NOT BE SURROUNDED BY THIS BORING, REGULAR SHIT, and also the fact that I’ve been undergoing some serious life changes lately, but I reallllllllllllllllllllllllly, desperately hope that my “stride” is a long ways off. I’m no Martin Scorsese, but I’ve gotta believe this shit is possible. Right? Bueller? Bueller??
No hate intended,