Who said old?
Age is always a reason for reflections, especially for those who link together goals with dates and take their birthdays as a reference to review their life story. It is a fact that, as we age, we are more likely to do the maths, look back to check, and try to do it forward, to watch. Yes, remembering that in the past we must not return to fight, but only to learn. And that in many ways we can prepare the future, but without an obsessive anticipation and always leaving room to embrace uncertainty.
Aging is not synonymous with expiration. In fact, the great Chilean psychologist Pilar Sordo always says, and with good reason, that old age only begins when memories are imposed on projects.
For example, old age may not have started for Liudmila Járeva, an 86-year-old Russian grandmother, named “the oldest volunteer in the 2018 World Cup.” Mrs. Járeva had been a Spanish teacher, but she wanted to re-practice our language and feel useful among the fans attending the event. And he got it.
In Thailand, last year, the king himself handed Kimlan Jinakul, 91, her Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities. If it’s not a record, it’s pretty close. Jinakul is not the exception in that country: Sukhothai University offers classes for older adults and has enrolled almost 200 students over 60 years.
Today we see intense debates about how long human beings can live, thanks to scientific development. I agree with the most optimistic thesis, although without disregarding the importance of the here and now. As I’m turning 49 years old in a few days, and walking towards the “half wheel” (as they say in my native Cuba at 50), I feel more inspired than ever to reflect on achievements and new challenges. This time I want to celebrate it with the audiobook “Wake up with Cala”, a new sound experience for those who work for a full and balanced life.
In the process of introspection that surrounds any anniversary or celebration, we must keep our inner child alive: that being that lives within us, connects us with our childhood and with the most genuine dreams we ever had. According to Paulo Coelho, “we must listen to the child we have inside”, because nobody better than him “understands magical instants”.