I hear you saying to yourself, “What does this question have to do with my genealogy?”
Good question. We are in the midst of an enormous demographic change–average life expectancy is now close to 80 years of age. Since our parents’ time, 30-40 years of added life after retirement have been gifted to us! There are now more people over 60 than under 15 years of age.
When I read this in “The Resolution of a Lifetime,” by Laura L. Carstensen, AARP Bulletin, (Jan-Feb 2012), I began to think in terms of mortality. The mortality of American Revolution ancestors–people did live to be 80 years of age–just not very many of them. Reaching the age of 100 years was noteworthy–in the local court records, the minutes of the church congregation, the front page of the local news (which was actually page 3 or 4 in the news sheet).
Extra years of life can bring a work force for indexing genealogy records, copying and registering tombstones and cemeteries online, interviewing neighbors and friends, clipping newspaper articles and obituaries, scanning and organizing photos, sharing family stories with young people and children who know nothing of the family lore.
The more you’re involved with others, embedded in something large than yourself, redesigning your world as you know it–the longer you will live a productive life.
Do you have any idea what genealogy would be like if every person over 50 years of age contributed only one project to our collective information archive? What will your project be? How will we know about it? Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com
PS I have so many projects underway, that I need to draft a completion calendar. I’m working on it. Are you?