What Will You Do at 92


in Happiness,Personal Growth

If you were born in 1919, do you think you would find yourself on the back of a horse?

For those of you who are as quick at math as I am, that would make you 92 years old.

Again, I ask:  would you?

I met a 92 year old woman recently who said, “Hell yes and give me a big one.”

As she cantered around the arena on a horse that had to be at least 16 hands high (for the non-horse people, that means the back of the horse is a little more than five feet off the ground which makes for a big horse), I watched in awe.

She was relaxed. Smiling. In the moment. Enjoying herself tremendously.

Let me be so lucky. Today. Ten years from now. When I’m 92.

Watching this amazing woman, I realized the decision to ride a horse at her age started years ago when she made the conscious choice to embrace her possibilities.

She hadn’t grown up riding horses as a kid so it wasn’t something she naturally fell back into.

She decided she wanted to learn how to ride when she was 59 and, she’s been at it ever since.

I think I don’t regret a single ‘excess’ of my responsive youth – I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn’t embrace. ~ Henry James

Youth approaches things a bit differently. When you are young, you naturally embrace the possibilities. Just ask my 5 year old daughter who shared the arena with the 92 year old woman.

My daughter can easily tell you about her possibilities or the things she wants to incorporate into her life and livelihood – being an adventure girl, ice skating, being a scientist, skiing, working with wild animals, helping the sick.

Some days I think her possibilities will never quit; they tumble out of her mouth in an unending stream. I hope they never will.

Possibilities represent a curiosity about life. About yourself. What you are capable of. What will bring you joy.


It is really that simple.

Have you lost track of your joy?

As quickly as you can, write down the answers to these questions:

  • Name three things you loved doing or thinking about as a young child, as a teenager, and as a young adult.
  • Describe the last thing you did – just for yourself – that brought you joy.
  • In the past week, name one thing that sparked your curiosity and made you say to yourself, “I’d love to try that, live like that, have that….”

If answering these questions was hard for you, you may have lost touch with your possibilities. But don’t worry. You can find them again.

It is just a matter of noticing the tender shoots when they first appear and choosing to hold them close, shower them with affection, and watch them grow.

We don’t know what our lives will look like from one day to the next but, one thing is for sure:  if we don’t take steps now, every day, to engage with ourselves and embrace our possibilities, we can pretty much be assured what our “chilled age” will look like. From my perspective, it’s not such a pretty picture.

Embrace the possibilities. You never know – it just might be you on the back of a horse at 92. If you start now.

What possibilities have you embraced lately?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ronna August 29, 2011 at

Love this! The story of the woman. The possibilities. And yes, the joy. Bring it on!!
Ronna recently posted..A Woman’s Calling


Andrea Olson August 30, 2011 at

I know you embrace the possibilities (you know I’m right! :) ).


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