It won't be easy. Going stale, losing interest in things, aging out, and other maladies are well known and well documented in aging adults. What can one do to stay in the game?
1. Stay fit or get fit. Creativity takes energy. Fight like hell to stay upright. But work with what you've got. Your high school track days are over. Accept this gracefully and with your doctor's advice, get to the gym.
2. Stay connected. Friends matter. Who you hang with matters even more. Are the folks in your orbit "in the game" or are they lazy, burned out, narrow minded, and in denial of reality? If they are, I'd make a move.
3. Take on new challenges. Start with your tech. Learn to use your phone, tablet, and laptop like a pro. It's not hard, start on YouTube and get busy. Working with senior adults who can't do even simple tasks is heartbreaking to see as a teacher. Tech literacy is a real thing. Incompetency with your gadgets is an impediment to being creative, connecting with other creatives, and just participating in modern life.
4. Learn something new. Take some lessons on your instrument, go all in. Learn a new instrument even. I'm working with a bass teacher this summer learning the basics of Country music bass lines in the music of the 1950s and 60s. My appreciation of that period of American music has grown. I hear it with fresh ears.
5. Do something new. I'm deep in the breakfast piano minute series. I've been creating 1 minute daily postings. It's been fun. It is leading to lots of new connections, and it encourages some daily creative effort. I've learned about camera lighting, video editing, and much more. And folks like them. I've a new and growing audience on social media.
If I can help you find some new creative activities, call me.
I’ve an aging body. Accommodations will have to be made. If you are reading this, you are likely in the same boat. Here is what was recommended by the physiotherapist recently.
I'm 62 years old. How do I stay in the game?
I found a mentor half my age. He keeps me humble, focused, and challenged. I figure he'll help stave off old fartum by at least a decade. He points out my blind spots and introduces me to new areas to explore, new points of view, and new ways to execute my musical ideas. It is all very exciting.
What about you?
Who can you reach out to?
One way to stay engaged is just to do it. Quick and short. Put it up there, see what sticks.
"Everyone used to learn by trial and error, we all had our own slightly wrong ways of doing things"
This may have cut it in the past. But not today. Engage a teacher, take a course, find some humility. The competition is fiercer that ever. Nothing is worse as an aging musician that not to know you don't know.
Ari Hoenig, jazz drummer
We live large in the catastrophic click bait age. It's only going to get worse. Count on it. Louder and shriller.
So, how do we turn off without turning inward?
I haven't the friggin' foggiest idea.
An ever-present danger. Giving up, settling early. This past year has been unprecedented. Most people have been inconvenienced. Some though have been deeply affected by job loss, illness, or death.
Assuming you are in the first group and not the second how do we proceed and stay engaged in a world of imagination and action?
‘Ne supra crepidiam judicaret,” meaning, ‘Let him not criticize above the sandal.’ Apelles
Ultracrepidarianism is the giving of opinions and advice on matters outside of one's knowledge.
A real danger in aging.
Closely followed by the Dunning-Kruger effect.
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from people's inability to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their level of competence. From Wikipedia
Given the above, what can one be sure about? Not much. On the other hand, quite a bit we remember the shoemaker folly.
I know how to:
What's on your "I know how to" list?
Forty five years ago Linda, my girlfriend, and I travelled from North Bay to Toronto to take in the spectacle. This past week I was teaching a 5 year old how to play along on the drums.
Life is exciting.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.