I turn 55 in a couple of weeks, which is one of those threshold ages. Some people retire at that age!
I’ve been programming for over 35 years, haven’t done much else since jumping off the ladder of IT management at 25.
One of my inspirations is my Sifu in Chow Gar Kung Fu and CMC Tai Chi, who is 73. I aim to be as dynamic at that age.
I have a couple of slightly contrary points.
It’s hard to learn sometimes when the new stuff runs counter to your experience. I’m a continual learner and have been fascinated by languages, tools and frameworks since I was introduced to Smalltalk 80 as a contrast to the punchcard Fortran we were using in Engineering studies.
Where my resistance to new stuff comes in sometimes is not because I’m inflexible, it’s because often the people propounding it don’t understand the background and they don’t get that the weaknesses I identify are real. I’ve gotten a lot better at shutting up and letting them learn the hard way, in the last 10 years.
One problem I have now is the analogies I draw are often too old to be useful for anyone under 30. I realised that was making my arguing the counter point even more obscure
So I have a somewhat-indifferent attitude now of how bad could it be if I’m right and they are doing the wrong thing?
(winces, realising how arrogant the above phrase sounds)
I think you need to help neuroplasticity by doing things which are well out of your experience range. That may mean, instead of new programming languages, you study graphic design, or something physical.
I am a big fan of martial arts, dance or other complex whole body exercises that also require a significant mental input - they are a great contrast to sitting in front of XCode. Don’t just seek out exercise which is mindlessly repetitive or which leaves you too much time to think, because then you’re not using your brain differently.