New movie offers good game plan

Headshot of Gerald Hay

More than 50 years ago, my heartthrob as a teenager was Sally Field as a flying nun. She has had an amazing career since then.

Now 76, Sally Field teamed up with actresses Jane Fonda, 85; Lily Tomlin, 83; and Rita Moreno, 91, to showcase their acting talents in “80 for Brady.” It’s refreshing to see new movies with older stars having wrinkles and gray hair. The actresses have an average age of 84 and have five Academy Awards among them.

“80 for Brady” is not an Oscar contender but an entertaining movie for aging adults. It is based on a true story about a group of older female friends who watched Patriots games together weekly. They did not ever go to a Superbowl.

Hollywood’s movie script embellished that true story in many, sometimes ridiculous and shameless, ways. It’s also irresistible, watching older ladies having fun in planning a road trip with many misadventures to the 2017 Super Bowl to watch their idol, New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady play the Atlanta Falcons six years before his recent retirement from football at 45.

Members of the foursome played high-stake poker, competed in a spicy chicken wing-eating contest, ate high-potency weed edibles and danced to The Twist, Mashed Potato and other classic moves.

Watching “80 for Brady,” I thought about the obscure 1962 “Safe at Home!” It was a fictional story about a kid who, through some routine plotting, gets to meet his baseball heroes, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. It, too, wasn’t an Oscar contender.

The actresses proved showcasing decades of talent and having fun are ageless. It also proved age is just a number.

Like many people in their 60-70s and older, I try very hard to remain very active in both spirit and personality. I firmly believe that we all remain the same inside, regardless of how we look on the outside as we age. For many, perhaps most baby boomers –like me, we’re not “matures” or “seniors,” and definitely not “elders.” In fact, many boomers and probably many aging adults (most popular term nowadays) would rather not be labeled at all with any terms of endearment in conversations with others. That puts many of us at somewhere between “beyond youth” and far from “over the hill” in life.

My grandkids, when they were younger, thought that I was older than dirt. That’s OK if the dirt is not covering me up.

With all that said, I must apologize to the people in their 30s when I called them old when I was in my teens.

And apologize to the people in their 50s when I called them old when I was 30.

Finally, apologize to the people in their 70s when I called them old when I turned 50.

Now at 75, I have learned a valuable lesson in life: No one wants to be old. For the most part, everyone wants to live longer. As in life, it’s all in the eyes of the beholder.

Where others see wrinkles, we see character.

Where others view baldness, we consider it “follicly challenged.”

Where they think aging adult, we think experienced.

Where they dread loss of youth, we cherish reinvention and a better view in living and enjoying life to its fullest as long as we can with what matters the most. In what many refer to golden years, friendships are in place of things; faith in place of fear; laughter in place of gloom; and love and patience in place of hate and hurry.

All that goes with maturity and experiences in life for “aging adults.”

To understand that it won’t matter a whit what people call you now, and in the years, ahead.

That point of view was first voiced by Norman Vincent Pearle: “Live your life and for get your age.” It’s a good game plan at any age.

P.S. Sally Field is still an ageless crush!