Step off the ‘conveyor belt’: could breaking old habits be the key to ageing well? An 88-year-old tests the theory
We often talk about the ageing process here at The Donaldson Sisters, but what about ‘ageing gracefully’ when you’re already into your 80’s, 90’s and beyond?
Recently, 88-year-old management consultant Robert W. Goldfarb wrote a piece for the New York Times in which he said he hasn’t changed much in the last 18 years – unlike the first 18 years of his life – a fact reinforced when he renewed his driver’s licence and the clerk told him he didn’t need a new picture.
He believes that ageing has put him on a “conveyor” – which he wants to ‘slow down’. How?
Embrace your adventurous side
He and his wife decide to break some of their old habits, such as going to the same restaurants and holiday destinations and avoiding new activities.
“Now, spontaneously, one of us will suggest going to a coffee shop or cafe just to talk, and we do. It’s hardly a lifestyle revolution, but it does encourage us to examine everything we do automatically,” he says.
Mr Goldfarb also hired a trainer to design a new age-appropriate exercise program for him outside of his usual swimming and resistance training.
It’s worth thinking about. Whatever our age, we all get stuck in our own routines and familiar environments – why not change things up?
As Mr Goldfarb writes: “None of these efforts to break old habits will add one day to my life. But I feel I’ve stepped off the conveyor and am experiencing some of the passion and adventure I felt in the first 18 years of my life.”
Picture: The author Robert W. Goldfarb.