Aging Well, Just Like Springsteen

aging well Oct 30, 2020

At the very young age of 71, Bruce Springsteen has released his latest album, Letter to You, and a film of the same name that records the making of the album.

Many of the songs are about growing older and death. Yet in his article Bruce Springsteen and the Art of Aging Well in The Atlantic, author David Brooks calls the album "both youthful--loud and hard-charging--and serene and wise." Brooks also says "Letter to You is rich in lessons for those who want to know what successful aging looks like."

Active aging is now a decades-long phase of life. According to the International Council on Active Aging, it embodies fully engaging in life within all seven dimensions of wellness:

  • Emotional - the ability to be aware of and direct your feelings helps to create balance in life.
  • Environmental - bringing people into the natural environment and encouraging active living through urban and property designs emphasizing walking paths, meditation, and vegetable gardens.
  • Intellectual/cognitive - engaging in creative pursuits and intellectually stimulating activities is a proven approach to keep minds alert and interested.
  • Physical - physical wellness is necessary to achieve the goal of living independently.
  • Professional/vocational - older adults contribute to society as experienced professionals, caregivers, mentors, teachers, and volunteers. This contribution is valuable for both society and the individual.
  • Social - social interactions with family, friends, neighbors, and per groups can be valuable for maintaining health.
  • Spiritual - one of the key to feelings of well-being is living with meaning and purpose in life, guided by personal values.

Springsteen is certainly an example of active aging. Have you thought about how you're going to go about the art of active aging and aging well? Listen to Letter to You (available on Spotify) for inspiration and motivation. Hearing what Springsteen accomplished at age 71 lets us all know that life has much to offer, even at ages that in the past would have been considered in decline. As Brooks states, "Maybe this can be America--not in decline, but moving with maturity to a new strength."

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