No, life does not end at age 63, but for the purposes of our study we will be stopping here. Betty Staley entitles this chapter, “Getting Older, Getting Better? The Active Years: 56-63.”
She mentions some of the more salient points regarding this life phase:
We have a new-found peace, calm and simplicity in this stage.
We are living out the depth of our inner experience and emotional maturity.
We develop enthusiasm in this stage through conscious effort. “The challenge now is to develop a new kind of idealism, what Steiner calls “achieved or mature idealism.””
Another challenge is to respond with empathy to things instead of with ego.
This is a time to prepare for the later years, but it may not be the time to retire. Betty Staley recites the studies that correlate death and retirement; for example, the peak in the male death rate is two years after retirement. Therefore, it is important during this phase to think about one will do after retirement and develop new interests, relationships, social outlets.
Marriage in the late 50s, sixties and beyond has the quality of devotion emerging. “The love of partners and friends has a depth at this period that can rarely be experienced in earlier years when we are oriented much more towards the outer world. Appreciation and tolerance also characterise this phase.” (page 236)
Betty Staley has several more chapters in this book, including “Looking Back, A Different Perspective: Beyond 63” and “The Threshold of Death.”
This is a powerful book, and I hope you all have enjoyed going through the seven year cycles from age 21 onwards.
Yours till next time,