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What if you lived to 100 years old?


Old lady with glasses wearing a red and yellow hat

My grandmother died.. She was 100 years old. 


For months afterwards my mum was busy unravelling her finances and selling her house. 


You know how many insurances, bank accounts, pensions, standing orders and direct debits a person can have? 


Yes, a lot. 


Every time my mum called up a company it was the same. Address. Policy or account number. Date of birth. Date of death. 


Silence. 


'So she was ONE HUNDRED years old! O. M. G. Amazing!'


And it IS. It WAS. Epic. Amazing. 


Or, in the words of my grandmother, 'just a matter of keeping on breathing'. (Never one for superlatives, my grandmother). 


Now, why am I talking to you about this? 


WHAT does that have to do with careers? 


Well, this. 


It IS amazing. To be able to live to 100 years old. She is an exception, rather than the rule. Right? 


Except more and more people will be able to live to this age. 


Granted, there's no guarantee. But I read a statistic that said that the majority of kids born in rich countries now will be able to live to this ripe old age. 


I've been thinking about that. A lot. 


Because my grandmother lived in a time where men went to work and women stayed at home. Where the retirement age was 65 and people died pretty much a couple of years after that (my granddad - who died at 68 - being a case in point). Where people - after a 40 year career - could rely on a good pension. When they could have a well-deserved rest. 


You KNOW it's no longer like that.


Pensionable age is being pushed further and further down the road. Pensions have become unsustainable. Jobs are no longer for life. Women participate in the workforce as much as men.


And on a seemingly unrelated note, can I talk about Christmas for a bit? (And yes, I WILL come to the point, hang in there). 


You see, what REALLY gets me going is this. 


Social media posts talking about Christmas, literally FIVE minutes after Halloween. 


Get Christmas out of the way and we'll start talking about Valentine's Day.


Come February and the shops are full of Easter eggs, pushing the Mother's Day cards out of the way.


It made me think. Is that what life is all about?


Always looking forward to things? Wishing your life away? Never living in the moment?


Don't get me wrong. I like Christmas just as much as anyone else.


But I'd like to think that the days in between are good as well!


That you love your life and work, not just the two weeks you're on holiday.


So, today I'm going to ask you TWO lots of questions:


About right now:

  • What are you looking forward to TODAY?

  • Or, if you're reading this later, what was GREAT today?

  • What is happening around you, what are you seeing, hearing, feeling?

  • What are you enjoying in what you're doing RIGHT NOW?


About the future:

If you KNEW you were going to live to 100 years old:

  • What would you still want to do? 

  • How would you plan out your time? 

  • Would you still want to do the work you're doing now? 

  • What would you enjoy doing or feel compelled to do for the next few DECADES (instead of years)?


Because I think it's both. Planning for the future, but living in the now. Acting now. 


Taking steps for longevity. Whilst enjoying what you're doing every day. 


So that at 100 years old you can look back at a life well lived. 


Or even epic. Or amazing. 


---


Tineke Tammes supports professional women in making successful transitions to careers of Freedom, Flexibility and Fulfilment! Besides that she is also a lifelong feminist, part-time portrait artistnever-only-read-one-book-at-any-time reader, and obsessive doodler.



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