Saturday, April 03, 2010

No such thing as a 'throw away' comment

In the course of a recent workshop I was delivering for 15 receptionists in healthcare I had a very interesting exchange with one of the delegates.

I was commenting about the revolution we’ve seen in IT and how I’m still fascinated by the whole concept of it all. I made what I thought was just a throw away comment along these lines;


"Even to someone of my advanced years’ (I’m 57 now) this stuff is exciting."

Never believe you've made ‘a throw away comment.’

After the workshop had finished I was approached by one of the delegates who said that she hoped I would never say anything about my ‘advanced years’ in future as she was now 70 years of age - still working enthusiastically - and seeing no reason to slow down. She has not even begun to consider the word ‘retirement.’

She was absolutely right and it was a great learning point for me.


I've often published on here and in other places that I want to be the player-manager of the first ever five-a-side football team for people of 100 years of age .... So I defintely see myself as young!

My academic and life supervisor Professor George Giarchi is still working as a lecturer at the Business School in University of Plymouth at the young age of 80 years. George is still as passionate as when I first knew him 25 years ago.

You are definitely only as old as your mindset tells you!

12 comments:

JOHN O'LEARY said...

Trevor, it sounds like she thought "advanced years" was an ageist comment. Isn't "advanced" a good thing? But when I get to be as old as you I'm sure I'll slip into some ageist humor. :-)

BTW, I've been hearing of research findings indicating that people who have negative stereotypes about aging - e.g. assumptions that they'll be mentally handicapped when they get older - are more likely to experience those handicaps in their "advanced years." The self-fulfilling power of belief.

Anonymous said...

A specialist in geriatric medicine told our class years ago that 1 in 5 people over eighty has some form of dementia. When we all nodded sagely she drilled us with her eagle eye and continued, "...which means 80% of people over eighty have all their marbles!" Ooops!

My 84 year old father-in-law played in an over-eighty hockey tournament last fall with teams from all over the continent. Won't be surprised if there's an over-100 tournament soon.

Someone told me just recently that he didn't think I could afford to retire before I was 70 and I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd retired years ago and my present employer was paying me to have fun with people younger than my children!

Happy Easter!
Lois Gory

Trevor Gay said...

That self-fulfilling power sounds right to me John... I think it works in reverse too. That's why I think I'm still only 18 :-)

Love that Lois - I'm still having fun with the same sort of folks. I see no reason to stop working until I'm at least 80 and I definitely want this five a side team for centurions!

These fabulous words were sent to me in an exchange with 85 year old Tony Benn – another of my heroes. – Tony spent over 50 years as a Labour MP and many of his millions of fans describe him as the best Prime Minister Britain never had.

“Having left Parliament to devote more time to politics I am free: Lots of experience and no personal ambition. I can't wait for April 3 2025 when I shall have completed my first hundred years and a new century of work begins” - Tony Benn

Marilyn Jess, DTM said...

People who love what they do never "work" in the usual sense. What amazes me is the backgrounds of so many people I meet in my consulting job at a nursing home. Keep in mind most are well over age 75. It's really no wonder they decline so fast--work was never a joy for them.

Younger generations, like us,are lucky to have a choice, and the opporutnities to get the education that frees you from drudge work.

People who don't use these opportunites miss their chance at life long happiness, such as Tony Benn expressed so well.

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Marilyn - I've met many folks over 70 who still think like 18 year olds and want to change the word ... I've also met a few youngsters who seem about 80 and ready to retire!

Tony Benn is a terrific role model indeed.

Dave Wheeler said...

Trevor,

The mirror tells me I'm 236 years of age. My knees say 862. But in my head I'm about 29 and getting younger everyday. Retirement? Naw...then I'd have to stay home with folks intent on driving me crazy.

Trevor Gay said...

Like it Dave – but you really shouldn’t exaggerate my friend. Like me you don’t look a day over 230!! :-)

Keep it simple, keep smiling and keep working is my motto.

Mark JF said...

You're only as old as your mindset tells you... unless your name is Gary Neville or Paul Scholes (think 25 but play like 45) or Antonio Valencia (think 25 but play like 15).

My point being that age should never be an excuse for not being curious and wanting to continue learning but you should always listen to your body.

Tragedy about United, eh? And where does it leave them: too many players now too far past their prime to cut it at the top any longer and too many players not there yet. Nani had a good game but I still think he's too flakey and lacks mental (perhaps even physical) stamina to be a great. Valencia is too leggy and (like Ronaldo early doors) there's lots of flashiness but not enough end product. Gibson (and this sounds tough because he's very good, but he's in a place where he'll be judged by the highest standards) will only ever be solid. Da Silva is very talented but, again, I doubt that he's got the mental toughness. The midfield hasn't got a really inspirational figure. The back 4 actually looks decent and there's a bit of depth there but van der Saar is getting on and there's no obvious successor. So, take away Rooney and your lot are in trouble. I think you need 4 or 5 signings or you can look forward to era when you're Arsenal: always near the top but not quite winning anything.

Meanwhile, Barca remain on course...

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Mark – Barca are far and away the best team in Europe so in some ways I’m not disappointed we will not be facing them again this season!

I think you are right about listening to our bodies – our body is ALWAYS right when it comes to the time to stop doing things. Giggs, Scholes and Neville will all know when to pack it in have no fear – they are ultimate professionals.

It always has fascinated me how people pull apart Sir Alex plans and say things like ‘It’s all over’

I’ve been hearing that for the 24 years the boss has been in charge at Old Trafford – I guess if people keep saying it every year they will eventually be right. BUT NOT YET MY FRIEND.

Sir Alex will know when the time is right to pack it in.

He is still building a new team – he has a load of terrific youngsters coming through and has recently bought young defender Smalling from Fulham – a highly talented youngster and today he bought a young outstanding striker from Mexico.

Have no fear Mark Sir Alex is going to be around a while yet and still winning trophies and rattling cages.

Anyone who writes Sir Alex or United off had better be ready for being bitten in the bum .... yet again!!!

Mark JF said...

Trevor - you United fans are very touchy! I'm not writing United off and I didn't say anything about Sir Alex. What I am saying is that by your standards the team is way, way, way off song. I can see you still being a Top 5 English club for the next few seasons but I'd also be prepared to make a small wager: you won't win any major trophies (Premiership, FA Cup or Champions League) this season or in the next 2. There's too much that's not right.

And I'd also bet that Sir Alex doesn't last beyond next season. All the while he clings to the old brigade, he's going to be part of the problem. If he wants United back on top (which he obviously does) he needs to get ruthless and he needs to buy some proven talent to add to the potential he's already got.

Trevor Gay said...

Great response Mark – real United fans are not sensitive - just loyal. (As the flag says ‘Man United – not arrogant – just better)

I’ll take you up on the ‘virtual’ bet.

I think we will win the title this season. A ‘hurt’ United is a dangerous animal and that Bayern defeat definitely hurt.

Sir Alex has never been afraid of being ruthless to change things and he will do it again. Remember how he got rid of Kanchelskis, Hughes, Ince all at the same time when all the perceived wisdom from ‘experts’ like Alan Hansen (you won’t win anything with kids) was that Sir Alex was a fool for doing so – the team just got better.

Anyone writing off United is taking a real chance of being made to look foolish is all I’m saying.

We can deal with criticism very well actually – we simply keep wining stuff.

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