Over 80 and Going Strong

This summer we wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to our younger selves. You might think of this New York Times piece as the reverse: a note to our older selves.

The article is called “Old Masters,” and shares interviews with people past the age of 80 who still continue to work, create and engage. Well worth a look.

What’s even more inspiring that these 80 and 90-somethings continuing to thrive were the tiny gems of wisdom hidden in their interviews.

“…my friends are either dead or still working.”
– Frederick Wiseman, filmmaker, age 84

“I was with a doctor the other day, and he said the reason that I’m so alert and all is probably that I do work….I’m going to retire in a box being carried out of my office.”
– T Boone Pickens, chairman of BP Capital Management, age 86

“I’m going to do this until destiny takes me away.”
– Ginette Bedard, marathoner, age 81

“It’s very sad that most people in the world are not happy with their lot or with their jobs and they can’t wait to retire. And when they retire, it’s like death.”
– Christopher Plummer, actor, age 84

There are others—some you’ll recognize, like Tony Bennett who, this year at age 88, released an album with Lady Gaga. Some you likely won’t, like the 99 year old painter Carmen Herrera, or the 89 year-old drummer Roy Haynes. But in each, you’ll recognize a similar quality: a love of what they do, and no plans to stop anytime soon.

Find it here: Old Masters: After 80, some people don’t retire. They reign.