My late cousin Susan here introduces me to doll house furniture in her back yard. She is being quite patient with me and I am fascinated by the toys. She invites me into her play circle, taking delight with passing on something she already knows how to do.
Yesterday I blogged about my struggle with reviewing self-published books. I didn’t just want to be a curmudgeon about it, so I offered my editing eye to anyone who would like it. It was a spontaneous offer, but a genuine one. Reflecting on it today, I realized that I, like my cousin Susan, only want to pass on something I already know how to do. That, I believe, is a central calling of old age. While the temptation exists to work through a “bucket list”, buy new and bigger toys, or spend hours writing nasty messages on social media, I can instead embrace the title of elder.
I am on the cutting edge of the baby boom in the United States, with a 1947 birthday. Millions of us are beginning to retire and to ask what next. While some of us are near the end of our lives, a doctor told me that if I have lived to age 65, the odds are I will live until 90. My parents lived to 89 and 93, so the chances are strong. I may be looking at another twenty years. I have decided to focus outward, to connect with people around the world and at home, to freely share what has been freely shared with me. Some of my generation drive cars which proudly state “I am spending my children’s inheritance.” Some of my country’s leaders are doing the same with our environment and debt. I hope instead to connect with those looking to enrich the lives of younger generations. And I hope to do my part.