“I just wanted everything to be bad and wrong and just as forbidden as possible.”
Carla Bley, a musician who has been in a small circle of accomplished jazz musicians since the early 1960s, is still going strong. At 80, she’s songwriting and recording (as a pianist).
Read more about here here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/arts/music/carla-bley-still-improvising-and-inspiring-as-she-turns-80.html?emc=edit_th_20160511&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=68893378&_r=1
I love reading about people like her: elderly but more active than ever. Our culture idolizes youth. We place our senior citizens in retirement homes in front of televisions and expect them to be passive. This is not what happens in other cultures. The Japanese hold their elderly citizens in high regard, looking to them for advice and co-habitating until death.
We talk about retirement and strive to retire early and comfortably. But look at the data: people who retire at 55 have shorter lifespans than those who retire at 65. Working cannot be underestimated. More than material possessions, humans desire feeling needed and effective.
“People who retire at 55 are 89% more likely to die in the 10 years after retirement than those who retire at 65.” (Web MD)*
Perhaps we ought to redirect our focus from retiring early to seeking fulfilling professions.