Age defines who we are in society... followed through our life with credentials. Social Security numbers, Drivers License, Diplomas, Certifications, Marriage License, Social Status, Titles, and entitlements... AARP and then... retirement. Each identification is a crossroads in our lives: birth, teenager, young adult, adult, and senior years. Each indicates growth, new challenges, and the changes we make as we grow into our next. Just when your intentions were and are to live out the rest of your life, you hit 64 3/4 ... things change.
When I was young, I admired my elders. Each held their own life stories, the ups and downs, the lessons learned, and those ignored. As I matured, I understood that this cycle is meant to be shared. We are, in part, entwined with the lives of others to learn and teach lessons. I never thought of the phases of life. Watching those who taught me "adulting" never mentioned the worries. I never knew of their shortcomings or failures. I only knew of their rebounds, strengths, and reasons for never giving up or giving in.
Strength, in the DNA, in the attitude coupled with the understanding that their character would live long past their years. We often forget our purpose is composed of who we are, who we learn to be, and who we become. It's not how society defines us. The credentials aren't what we live to change. It's the journey...
Do we duplicate the path of our elders? Do we pattern our lives to reach the levels they didn't attain? At 64 3/4, did I reach that goal? I often wonder what they would say...would my grandmother ask about my career choice; would we laugh about my romantic challenges and choices; would there be silence between us as we reminisced?
I realize I am now an elder. My children, my grandchildren, to them, I am the elder. At 64 3/4 have I given them enough of the Directions Necessary to Adjust when choices need to be made. For me, age is just a number... however, the journey tells the story. I can say I did my "parenting and adulting" based on the lessons learned. I'm content with the outcome; I've found myself thanking God for balance and my elders. Age is just a number, and living beyond the years of identification or societal expectations, I anxiously await my 65th lap around the sun. I found my purpose with it... young is my attitude. I'm anxiously awaiting the next phase.
.................................................................identifications, papers, or education.
64 3/4 my next identification... check insurance, collect the benefits, make a will, have a trust, prepare for the eternal.