Act II: Over what hill?

Over what hill

Your brain never stops developing and changing. It’s been doing it from the time you were an embryo, and will keep on doing it all your life. And this ability, perhaps, represents its greatest strength. —James Trefil, physicist and author.

This topic has been a hot button for me ever since I was forced to sign up for Medicare. In this country you don’t have a choice. Also, at seventy, you have to start making withdrawals from your 401K. How convenient, a government planned exit strategy. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m still kickin’ and have no plans on sipping an umbrella drink on a patio in a retirement community waiting for tee time.

Or worse, the early bird special rush. I got my timing wrong once while out on the road and was almost elbowed to death. Not for the faint of heart.

When I lived in Arizona, I would ride my bike through Sun City and get a chuckle out of the cute little patio homes with instead of grass, they epoxied the front lawn and spray painted it green. Surreal. After a full day of doctor’s appointments, golf, bingo and shopping these folks are hungry and need I say, very competitive.

Oh, but times have changed. We, especially boomers, aren’t going anywhere. (If you survived the sixties, you’re virtually indestructible). Most of my contemporaries are still wanting to stay in the game. Either out of passion or necessity. We are just hitting our stride.

The age perception has been hobbled by stereotypes or misconceptions. Over the hill, indeed. You spend decades accumulating valuable knowledge and skills and now you spend this incredible capital on bingo or bridge?

Age is an asset in many people oriented occupations, like managers, judges. politicians, writers, artists and even life coaching. Age gives us the advantage of making better choices in life and it is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. I’m much more analytical and enjoy subjects that would glaze my eyes as a younger man.

Hey, but if you had a job for 40 years that sucked and you sat at a desk watching an egg timer, well, good for you! Those beachy Corona Beer commercials must have driven you ape shit while you waited for the big day, your cafeteria cake and the obligatory, sometimes garbled, good luck speech, loaded with shopworn phrases. After you spent the last thirty years grumbling yourself into an early grave. I never got that memo.

If you made it over the hill, it means all them young ‘uns are still struggling their way up on the other side. Or they haven’t found the hill at all.

Don’t lose your voice. Sure, take a few years off. Travel. Spend time with the grand kids, enjoy life without traffic and not being under someone else’s gun. But if you live long enough, that old “over the hill” jones will start gnawing away at you and you’ll magically find an outlet and the world will benefit from your life experiences and wisdom. God knows we need it.

Please note: I welcome comments that are offensive, illogical or off-topic from readers in all states of consciousness.

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