Singer-songwriter Amanda Carr has a brilliant technique for managing life’s ups and downs: She redirects her energy towards positivity, even when faced with something tragic. Haunted by the Boston Marathon bombing, for example, she channeled her grief not by composing a requiem, but by penning a rousing, hopeful song, Boston Anthem.
Amanda and I were both on Jordan Rich’s radio show recently, and the three of us chatted about life after 50, and how it’s much different for Boomers than for generations past, when life expectancies were 20-30 years shorter than they are now and retirement meant you stopped working at 65 and faded from there. “Enough of this over the hill stuff,” Jordan said, pointing out that his 85-year-old father is glued to his computer (meaning he’s not an old fart technophobe), and that he (Jordan) knows many people who run the Boston Marathon in their 70s and 80s, and others who are writing books in their 90s.
These are the people who are taking my advice to heart: Find something you want to do with your life, and do it. No one else is reponsible for how you feel, what you dream about or what you accomplish. No one else is going to rescue you from emotional or economic doldrums, not your spouse, your friends or the government.
To Amanda’s point, making the search for meaning in the last third of your life is something to be excited and—yes–positive about.
Positivity isn’t naïve, or trite. It’s functional.
Proof that it’s working: Amanda is in the middle of one of the most creative periods of her life. “I’m in better shape now than at 30 . . . and I’m a lot more comfortable,” she said. “I’m easier on myself, not overachieving tor the sake of overachieving. I feel great.”
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