Remember how aging used to be something you looked forward to? How when someone asked you how old you were, you proudly held up your fingers and were so excited when it was your birthday and one more finger raised the flag?
- At age five, you started school.
- At twelve, you were practically an adult.
- At thirteen, you were a teenager.
- At sixteen, you could get your driver’s license.
- At eighteen you could vote.
- At twenty-one you could drink (legally).
Each year was a progression of rights, of freedom, of access to a bigger world.
Once you are out on your own, the progression was not so clear. You were no longer moving as one united age group towards common goals. There were so many choices.
Maybe you moved far from home or stuck close to your roots. Maybe you got married or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you had children or maybe you waited or didn’t have any children at all. There were so many ways that you could go with your life.
Exactly what are we advancing towards in our fifties and beyond? Retirement? A senior discount? Social security? Medicare? Can you imagine proudly holding up six and then five fingers to indicate you are eligible for Medicare?
As I get older, I am much more aware of my own mortality and that every day brings me closer to the end of my life. I don’t say that in some morbid way. After all, that statement becomes true right after you are born. You just aren’t that aware of it until you are at the point that it hits you like a cold bucket of water and you wish that someone had woken you up sooner.
I was recently at the park, watching children play, while I sat on the swing. There is a spaceship looking structure to climb in. A group of boys were on their way to Jupiter and were preparing to fight space aliens. You can bet they weren’t thinking much beyond who got to be the aliens and who would be the human alien fighters.
Higher number living…. there has to be some perks. There has to be some moments when you contemplate flying to Jupiter and being weightless…