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Welcome to #zerotosixtyproject!


#zerotosixtyproject is a project I’m undertaking, and dragging my husband along for the ride, to learn more about what is possible in our fifties, sixties, and beyond. It is a companion to Forge Research Lab’s Third Act workshop series, which also explores the possibilities of aging. #zerotosixtyproject, however, is our own personal deep dive into our potential, our limitations, our adaptations, and our abiding curiosity about what comes next.




Who are we, and why are we doing this?


I’m Wynne, a student of optimal experience across the lifespan, HQ’d in the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia, Canada with my husband, Kyle, an outdoor enthusiast and all-around get-after-it kind of guy. We’re well settled into midlife with our kids and our work – I’ll be 52 this year, and Kyle knocks on 50’s door this spring – and we, like lots of people we know, are thinking more and more about what the years ahead will hold. We want to take a clear-eyed and optimistic approach to our own aging, and want to share what we experience and learn with you.

It's no secret: Generation X is (gasp!) deep into middle age.


We’re the generation born between about 1965 and 1980, often overlooked between the giant, screaming cohort of Millennials behind us and the suddenly shrinking cohort of our parents, the Baby Boomers. At last count, we make up about 29% of the Canadian population. Once known as “the coolest generation”, we’re now raising families while also caring for aging parents, still working full-time, and nervously contemplating the next chapter in what’s generally expected to be a long life.


A recent study, however, suggests that those additional years may not be as healthy as the Boomers before us: from higher incidents of self-reported “bad general health and long-term illness” to increases in high blood pressure, diabetes, and hypertension, we can indeed expect to live longer, but with perhaps more of those years in poor health.

So, what is there to do?


My own mother, who lived the last healthy year of her life at fifty and died of ovarian cancer at 52, had a needlepoint of the Phyllis Diller quote “my idea of exercise is a good brisk sit” in our childhood kitchen. She was not one to be proactive about her health. I, on the other hand, have tried to stay active throughout my life, and have even found that movement and activity have helped me through some of my lowest lows. We’re not high-performance athletes or marathon runners or yogis; we’re average folks who are curious (and mostly able!) to explore what we can do to live a long and healthy life.


Some of the questions we’re asking:


·       What is healthy aging, anyway?

·       Is it too late to start, where do we start, and how much is enough?

·       Why is it so hard to try new things the older we get?

·       How do you stay motivated when you’re Just. So. Tired?

·       What’s fun got to do with it?

·       Are playfulness and adventure better left to the young?


… and many, many more.


How will we do it?


The sheer size of the Baby Boomer generation has focused research attention toward everything from their purchasing power and political views to their musical tastes and use of technology. Conversely, much of the attention paid to Gen X is either to compare us to the generations before and after us, or to target heretofore untapped consumer markets. Our hope with #zerotosixtyproject is to draw on my background as an interdisciplinary scholar to ground our experiences in up-to-date research and guide us toward making the best decisions we can. We’ll also do our best to employ a critical eye to assess trends and fads in the multi-billion dollar wellness and aging space, and hopefully act as a resource and repository for high-quality, science-backed information.


We'd love for you to join us!


So come along for the ride! We’ll try to be as honest as we can about the ups-and-downs and in-betweens. We’d love to hear in the comments what you’re doing to stay healthy or what questions you have or any ideas for topics we can help explore! Sign up for the #zerotosixtyproject newsletter for the latest!

Looking forward to going from zero to sixty - and beyond! - with you!

Wynne and Kyle

 

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