The phrase, “Skidding into Heaven”, is loosely based on author Hunter S. Thompson’s quote;
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming Wow! What a ride!
I will take the “Skidding into Heaven” phrase and attempt to expand it to a much broader reach.
Over the past 10 years, I have become intrigued with the concept of “later-in-life activities”. As a result, I am a huge proponent of never entering into the vast wasteland of retirement. I have come to understand this is not a popular belief, especially in the United States. I do believe that when my time comes, I want to go “Skidding into Heaven” knees scrapped and bloody, with my entire body black and blue. With that, I know I will have lived a good life.
Historically people (primarily males), planned their entire adult life for the day when they would retire. The day they would receive the gold watch, a pat on the back, a piece of unforgettable sheet cake, and then pack up their box of memorabilia and head off into the sunset! Now, there are many famous and not-so-famous folks who hit the normal retirement age of 65 and keep going. Those are the people who are huge proponents of “lifelong-learning”, “later-in-life activities” and creating a “second act” for themselves and their families.
I also mentioned my interest in “later-in-life” activities. The list of “later-in-life” activities is endless. Historically, this list included travelling, playing golf, and spending time with the grandkids. All of these activities are great, and I prescribe to all of them! Along with these activities are the ones that allow us to pursue endeavors we never thought possible. We are all living longer and many with continued good health. Continued good health, due to advanced medical breakthroughs, and also healthy regimes of diet and exercise, lead up to this advanced age.
At no time in history have there been the vast number of resources available at everyone’s fingertips. The internet and limitless amounts of print and visual materials are available. Add in podcasts and blogs that give folks the opportunity to research what their “later-in-life activities” will entail.
For many, “later-in-life activities” have been a continuation of their ongoing legacy endeavors. Warren Buffet, at the grand old age of 92, with a net worth of 101 billion dollars is still actively overseeing his company, Berkshire Hathaway. Famed actor turned director, Clint Eastwood is still “churning out” movies, also at age 92. These are two famous “later-in-life” proponents. But what about people who operate more “under the radar?” Those people who are not in the daily news and may even live in our neighborhood? Annie Korzen, a former actress and professional storyteller, re-launched her “second act” as a Tik Tok sensation, with 223,000 current followers. Vivian Johnson, at the age of 85, formed a non-profit called Seniors for Racial Equality, in Irvine, California. Maurine “Mo” Kornfeld still swims actively at the Pasadena, California, Rose Bowl Aquatics center. “Mo” is getting close to turning 101 years old this month. These are a small number of active seniors who have approached their “second act”, with a healthy desire to accomplish more and not give in to society’s notion of what one’s “senior years” should look like.
What do you want to do in your “second act” that will help you Skid into Heaven? What do you want to do that will have you arrive in heaven, knees scraped and bloody, fully spent, no regrets, memories aplenty?