She is bright-spirited.

She is bright-spirited.

Marilyn B., age 78

I am 78. I am glad to be alive. My continued awe and curiosity, my interest in beauty and in other people, the creativity that drives and focuses me—in those areas I feel ageless. I feel and see my age in my body—the wrinkles, the new aches, the desire and often need to nap in the afternoon.

Age discrimination, or “ageism” seems more and more noticeable. Some people call it invisibility—the store helper or wait person who passes you by and speaks only to those who looks younger.

My life is full of activity. I am a visual artist married to a musician, and we organize and participate in monthly house concerts. Over time we have built a creative community of serious musicians, poets, artists, writers, composers, and appreciators. Interaction and discussion with others in the arts feels and is essential.

My art centered life has its challenges in a society that tends to marginalize visual artists. I am persistent, seek out and participate in support systems, and have committed myself to reaching for more and thinking even bigger as I age. It is a new “stance” for me, and exactly what I need. More that brings me joy: visits with my son and family, daily walks and talks with my husband, and Zumba.

What I have learned over the years—that what we think is past remains present in us and can be rekindled and reclaimed. That speaking up is important. That everything and everyone is interconnected. That every moment is precious.