As I grow older, I realise that the more knowledge I accumulate, the more it will only be important to just me. I can get all of these things I know and stockpile them in my mind but I fear that they aren’t going to have an opportunity to be told – for them to mean something.
When our children thought of Grandma or Granddad, they’d think their stories were boring rather than interesting – they’d almost assume they’d start with ‘back in my day’. When my kids would say this to me, I’d just laugh and think, I’ll never be that person, the one trying to impart their wisdom on anyone who’ll listen. But now I understand.
We over 60s just want to be heard. We just want all those facts and details to mean something someday. We feel we’re running out of time to tell those stories. I see so many over 60s writing their memoirs or self-help books, and 5 years ago, I would have seen it as a bit desperate. But now, as I approach 65, I realise just why someone would want to make a book or write a blog about their life. We’re scared that one day we’ll be sucked into the white light and all the things we’ve accumulated will go with us.
My grandchildren now sit and chat with me every so often, and I have to bite my tongue before I say ‘back in my day’. I want to tell them so many things about the world but then I remember how fun it is to learn on your own. I guess I just wish I didn’t have to do the cliched self-published book just so I could find an audience for what I want to say. I was a psychologist for 28 years and I have heard it all. I’ve always wanted to write a book about the resilience of the human spirit but as a highly self-aware person, I have the good foresight to know that no one will buy my book. I know that no matter how many people in my circle, or indeed on here, tell me that I should just go for it and write that book, it’ll never sell a million copies. That might sound like pessimism but I’m a realist. And the amount of people I have seen who have ended I spending thousands of dollars printing their darn books or having them edited could fill a whole book in itself.
So I wonder, dear Starts at 60 readers, what legacy we will have. How will our thoughts and knowledge live on after we’ve gone? Or am I just hanging on for no reason?
Tell us your thoughts below.