When the idea of starting my own blog was just a so-called ‘twinkle in my eye,’ I spent a lot of time coming up with what to call it. What was the right name?
I knew what I wanted to write about – midlife – that period of time when you think you have it all figured out but then realize that no one ever has it all figured out. That time in your life when you can look back on all your mistakes, accomplishments, precious moments or moments you’d rather forget; the time that allows for new growth and opportunity..(if you keep your eyes open to all the possibilities).
To get some feedback and advice on the name I chose, MySoCalledMidlife, I consulted my supportive online writer’s group. Most liked the name MySoCalledMidlife, but one woman disagreed with the others. Her feeling was that I shouldn’t use the word ‘midlife’ in the title, since ‘midlife’ eventually ends and before too long, I’d have to re-work the title.
Well, I’m glad I chose not to listen to her advice: A new report recently emerged that says that old age now begins at age 74. Middle age it says, lasts at least nine years longer than current estimates. We no longer have to ‘exit’ middle age when the chronological clock strikes 65.
I like it. It means that we can ignore Merrian-Webster’s definition of middle age that says “the period of life from about 45 to about 64.” It means we can linger in this prime arena without being shoved aside and cast into the next category of age and being called – and labeled – as “old.”
My personal thanks go to the researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Stony Brook University for allowing me to keep the name of my blog for a lot longer than previously anticipated. Their work was published in the journal PLOS ONE and previously in Population and Development Review. In a release, the study’s lead author Sergei Scherbov said that someone who is 60 today is middle-aged, whereas two hundred years ago, 60 would have been very old.
Or it’s more likely they wouldn’t have even made it to 60.
Yes, overall life expectancy is growing, and we can thank that shift for redefining what old really is. According to a 2014 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy in the U.S. reached a record high in 2012 of 78.8 years. Defining what’s old should take into account how long people have left to live, not how long they’ve already lived, said Scherbov.
And he’s so right. We’ve got exciting years ahead of us.
And we are a powerful force, after all, living longer and better.