Ray, 59 yrs

Oct 2nd 2022

“I started dyeing my hair by myself about 6 years ago. This colour is called ‘electric lizard’, and it’s my favourite colour so far. I don’t look like the typical image of someone my age, but I don’t care what anybody thinks. A lot of students at the university I work at tell me they love my hair. It’s nice to hear compliments. It’s like when I smile at students and say good morning; we’re pushing endorphins onto each other. If you want to be happy, then you’re going to draw in positive energy and have happy people around you. If you’re going to be miserable, then you’re going to have negative energy and nobody around you. It’s healthier to look at the world in a positive way for your physical and mental health and well-being. You’ll enjoy your time here a lot more.

People are living a lot longer. It’s causing some problems like illness in old age. That scares me sometimes. It’s one thing to get sick, but the idea of losing your mind, that must be terrifying. Your parents, grandparents, they get older, and you switch to the caregiver role. With age, you’re not going to be as sharp as before. Your brain’s still working, but it takes longer to process things. But you’ve also got all these experiences, so you have a better perspective on how to tackle life. What was earth-shattering when you were young doesn’t matter to you anymore when you’re older. Who cares? You don’t have the time and energy to deal with bullshit. I find that children and older adults can relate well with each other because like kids, older adults are past the point of caring what other people think and are ready to just have fun.

There are a couple lessons I’ve learned from life. First, try to say yes more than no. There are some things you should say no to, so use your head and don’t put yourself in stupid situations. But take chances sometimes and be open to new experiences. If you say no, you’ll think back far ahead into your age, like 'gee, I wonder what would have happened if I said yes'. Second, try to be kind. I don’t mean just being kind to other people, but to yourself as well. We’re always so hard on ourselves when we don’t deserve it."