A few weeks ago, I turned 60. I'm healthy, strong…and at the time of writing this, alive. Call me crazy, but I’ve never understood the fear of getting older, I mean, consider the alternative. The only way to gain, then share life’s experience is through time, living.
As Mark Twain said “You can’t reach old age by another man's road; my habits protect my life, but they would assassinate you”
There’s so much to be learned from experience, and when you think about it that way, you can be nothing but thankful. There is extraordinary in the ordinary and you should not need to look very hard to see beauty in this world. “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” said Satchel Paige. Who retired from BaseBall at 59.
Not to offend, but, I rarely take the time to be concerned about what anyone thinks of me. My unique background and approach allow me to draw on that experience seamingly at will. I'm more secure as a designer, architect, my strengths, ideas, and in being myself than I've ever been. People young and old and often quick to narrow the field, working towards stopping or retirement (whatever that is) or in a hurry to move on to the next thing. Closing their hearts and minds to learning the changing environment and technology. If you see every day, every step as magic—if we can only see it for what it is, it's a great adventure, and as such savor the moments and the process as it happens.
Even in my darkest moments; with a family found, then lost, through abandonment, lies and betrayals. I remained optimistic, hopeful, and open to seeing the best in people, even when they give me their worst. Creative people find a way, staying open to believing that no matter how hard life can get, there is always sliver of light to show the way.
When your mind toggles between an unstoppable force and an inescapable curse the greatest pain comes when idle...with no great problem to solve.
And, at 60, I have never been more excited about the future.
I want to encourage as many people as I can to remain open. Remaining open to learning, new ideas, create and push for change, creating a vision for the future. This is what has brought me my greatest success and joy. The profession of Architecture shows that we are making something bigger than ourselves. That attitude has kept me young.
You do projects, make money, lose money, learn when you can, and teach when your allowed.
Respect and loyalty are the only real currency. Collect it wisely. To quote Thoreau “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” Stay excited, even when you are faced with a small battalion of people determined to stop you. Be creative and find a way.
I surpass this milestone with, joy and optimism. for this, is an adventure.