My beloved’s Auntie received good news about some tests that were a bit of a worry – no sign of anything untoward. She’s nearing 70 and so the conversation turned to how “that’s how it is now, just waiting for something else; constantly in decline”. Physiologically there’s truth in this after a certain age, but it belies an opposite truth in my view.
Stephen Hawking died at the age of 76 and was, unquestionably, in physical decline from early on in his life. His disability may have impacted the contribution he made, but it certainly didn’t stop him contributing massively. In the face of difficulty and decline, the mindset he maintained is an example to all of us.
If we’re open to learning and persistently curious, then as we age we’re not in decline. We lay foundations, build on them and can share what we’ve built with the future. We can choose to grow, constantly.