Too Old To Dream?

In the mid-thirties, The Night Is Young, a movie with Nelson Eddy and Irene Dunne, featured the song “When I Grow Too Old To Dream.” I suspect that most of you reading this will remember that song. I was a mere babe in arms at the time, but I know the song from having heard it over the years by various artists, including my parents.

That song floated through my thoughts the other day as I approach my birthday, and I decided Romberg and Hammerstein had those words all wrong!

The textbook out of which I taught a Human Development course at Hawai’i Community College categorizes the “young old” as 65 to 74, the “old old” as 75 to 84 and the “oldest old” as 85 and above. I won’t discuss my calendar age here, although I do admit to being over 65! In terms of the great site Real Age,  my physical age is about 10 years younger than my calendar age. Another fascinating site is Living to 100 where I learned that based on my health and lifestyle, I will live to 104, and with a couple of minor changes, I could increase that to 108.

So do you think I am too old to dream? Are any of us ever too old to dream?

I don’t intend to stop dreaming until they sprinkle my ashes over the ocean. And who knows? Maybe I won’t stop dreaming even after that.

Please! Let us not stop dreaming, just because we think we might be “too old to dream.” The world is full of dreams just waiting for someone with our talents, our openness, our persistence, our love – no matter our age.

Just for fun, here is the front of the old sheet music for the song.

A hui hou!

OUR FOURTH QUADRANT

As older women we have traveled Joseph Campbell’s mythological “Hero’s Journey” many times in various aspects of our lives. Through our first three quadrants of that journey, we accepted challenges, faced “dragons” and at times were pushed to depths of despair. We learned how to manage the trials and temptations of life, and we developed new insights about our lives.

According to Campbell, this fourth quadrant of the journey we have taken is a time of self-realization, of self-actualization. In my dissertation of 1992, I wrote that the “hero of today dares to seek wholeness and fulfillment through finding new pathways to unknown territory.”

That is an excellent description of the Perennial women I interviewed on my physical journey, my road trip to interview older women. I discovered their insights, what they had in common, and what they are doing in the fourth quadrant of their life journey to stay fulfilled.

Now we are ready to rethink what we can or cannot do as we get older, as we engage in this fourth quadrant of life. Now we have emerged, ready to face anything required of us, ready to find or create “new pathways to unknown territory.” Now we are feeling empowered and blessed.

Would you share with us your ideas about exciting and energizing ways we can live this fourth quadrant? What are you doing?

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