Those of us who have been privileged to live a long life and who are still able to continue in the art forms we love, have been met by possibilities unimagined by earlier generations. Exercise, better diets, and medical advances often keep us fit decades longer than our forebears. Many of us manage illnesses once considered fatal or crippling.
Since there are few guides through this unknown territory, we are forced to become inventors. This requires us to choose not only the ways and pace in which to move forward, but also the directions we take and the voices we listen to. Some will tell us to stop competing with younger people or caution that we now need to rest and become spectators. A surprising number, however, will encourage us when they see that we are thriving and even breaking new ground for ourselves and for those who come after us.
Refusing to bask in what are often called the golden years or succumb to the retirement prescripts of another age, we continue to function as the creative beings we have always been for as long as we can. None of us knows when that will be. But then, none of us ever did. All through life there have been obstacles both major and minor. These will take different forms as we age, but the tools we use to overcome them will be the same ones honed over a lifetime.
Inventors are often risk takers, ready to step off the cliffs and into the forays that present themselves. If today we are only willing to jump so high, maybe tomorrow, emboldened by a little success, we’ll be willing to jump even higher. That is our choice. That is the choice of all inventors.