67 Year Old Street Musician’s View on His Aging Process
It’s common to see Steven playing his banjo at the farmer’s market. From sixties music to oldies like Workin’ on the Railroad and Oh Susannah!, Steven’s music is always delightful, creating an air of festivity and welcoming. He never fails to have smiles for passersby who may or may not leave a tip in his basket.
What are your views on aging, Steven?
“The only way I can think about aging is to live one day at a time, begrateful and stay positive.”
Is your street music the way you support yourself, Steven?
“I get some social security and supplement with my music at farmer’s markets and other outdoor venues in nice weather. Come winter, I have to tighten my belt. But I am looking for more ways to play my music in the winter this year. Look at this. (He opened his wallet showing me a thick pad of $1 bills.) I came here with an empty wallet today and now look! It makes me happy that people enjoy my music.”
What is something you feel good about in your life accomplishments?
“I took care of my mother for eleven years. If I would have put her in a nursing home, I know she would not have lasted for even two years. I did everything for her, even when she began suffering from dementia. I felt it was only right to care for her even though it meant I did not have much of a life during that time.”
How do you feel about your own aging process?
“Some folks only pay attention to the chronological number of years and it seems to be their dictate about what they think they should be. I didn’t know people when I was younger who got into their sixties and hiked. I hike a lot to keep myself feeling good. There isn’t an age that I feel like when I play my music or hike so I don’t focus on my age. I just want to keep feeling good and be grateful that everything works.”
What do you consider to be a priority in aging that is beneficial?
“Besides being grateful, I don’t see any point in being a complainer. I feel good when I am positive. If I am inclined to negativity, I change as fast as I can and very rarely does it overcome me. Being positive gives me the feeling I want and then I can spread that feeling around to others.”
What has happened recently that you were excited about?
“Look at these hiking boots I am wearing. A friend gave these to me because he thought it would be better for me knowing I like to hike a lot. They feel really good. Best shoes I’ve had for a long time. Nice of my friend to do that.”