The ‘New’ Old Age? Not So Much.

The old couples cycling.

A dilemma faced by many as we get older: is it time to accomplish things you haven’t accomplished yet, or time to reflect and just enjoy your remaining years.

Although there are different points of view, an essay in the Wall Street Journal suggests that the latter choice might be better for some folks.

The writer, a man in his ’70s, dismisses the idea of the “New Old Age,” one in which medicine is letting us live longer and healthier and with that the idea that we can keep doing more.

Older folks sometimes are discouraged from retiring. Baby boomers, in particular, may feel pressure to keep working, go hiking, have plastic surgery and keep doing more.

The writer, Daniel Klein, isn’t buying it. His believes old age is best served by reflection, reading and nurturing relationships.

He says a time spent in Greece helped showed him this. There, the old men sat in coffee shops and whiled the time away chatting, just enjoying each other’s company.

Klein cites ancient Greek philosophers for embracing this idea, as well as the Zen Buddhist philosophy.

Of course, everybody is different. But Klein suggests there is nothing wrong — and maybe everything right — about slowing down and smelling the roses, if it works for you.