I really feel alone.
I think most of my contemporaries are kicking back their feet:
Leisurely going through their days.
Taking an exercise class.
Traveling to Israel.
Lunching with their tribe.
Doing something totally frivolous at whim.
And here I am:
Totally pre-occupied.
Somewhat stressed (actually, pretty darn stressed).
Over-stimulated.
Making new connections.
Meeting new people.
Learning new stuff.
Why am I so distracted?
Because I’m launching my own non-profit:
Preserving Your Bloom, Inc.
Because I’m going in a brand new direction in my life.
It turns out that people around my age — the first wave of the ubiquitous baby boomers — are once again breaking the mold, writing their own script for aging gloriously and controlling their own remote.
In the Wall Street Journal, on June 27, 2023 this headline appeared: “More High-Powered People Choose to Work into Their 80s.”
Recognizing that our generation has concerns over QTR (Quality Time Remaining), many of us are simply deciding to “work” rather than simply retire. We are re-inventing ourselves a second (or third) time. We are setting-up non-profits. We are turning hobbies into full time ventures. We are making major volunteering commitments in massive numbers.
Why?
Maybe we don’t like pickle-ball.
Maybe our spouses are pushing us to do something besides sitting idle.
Maybe we are just bored.
Maybe we are energized over this gift of additional time.
Or maybe we just want to.
Role models abound. No matter your personal opinion of President Biden, age 80, running for re-election, it certainly supports the mindset that our ninth decade can still be one of productivity and purpose. Further proof: Harrison Ford, at age 80, is releasing his latest “Indiana Jones” movie. No mean feat.
Julia Louis Dreyfuss has just launched a new podcast series called “Wiser Than Me” where she interviews women in their 70s and 80s after wondering why we don’t hear more from older women on how to live a full and meaningful life. (Her interview with Fran Lebowitz is awesome!)
It kinda makes retirement at age 65 look extremely premature. Outdated. And an obsolete template.
My father was thrilled, when on the eve of his 80th birthday, he received one present from all of his grandkids: a briefcase.
I was shocked at the happiness it brought him.
“Are you kidding?” he marveled, “My family thinks it’s normal for me to be working at my age and bought me a briefcase to replace my bedraggled one — wow that spurs me to keep on keeping on.”
Personally, I owe this productive and invigorating stage in life to a recognition of two things:
The concept of QTR (Quality Time Remaining)
And the clock constantly ticking.
What is “Quality Time Remaining” all about? It’s a philosophy and a filter for making choices in life:
It involves facing your own mortality.
Taking things OFF the back burner.
No more vowing to do it SOMEDAY.
Focusing on living the life you want after whittling down what is really important to you.
And, of course, making the world a better place by continuing acts of positivity and productivity.
This mindset is emphasized in Judaism. Nechama Godman Barash talks about the importance of being present in the moment in Jewish tradition. In The Jerusalem Post on September 9, 2022, Barash writes that “there is enormous importance to the invitation of ‘today’ if we only open ourselves up to such a possibility…any day that we show awareness of our responsibility, accountability and connection to establishing the covenant of Torah and mitzvot between us and God is ‘today’…what is powerful about the usage of ‘today’ is that it is not meant to be limited to any particular time and place…It’s any day.”
Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick Tock.

Keep Preserving Your Bloom,
Iris Ruth Pastor