SOL Challenge Day 11 – Aging it is all in the mind

I am at a coffee shop this morning meeting a dear friend. Somewhere in our conversation of teaching, schools, the arts and life we reached the discussion of age. What do we do as we age? What skills do we continue to share or new ones that we begin to build? Where do we find community and deep discussions about things that matter?

It was a great conversation and helpful since I was feeling a bit “old” due to a conversation I had with young things yesterday. During this conversation I realized my dear friend was moving on to the great age of 70 and I then could relax a bit knowing she is a little bit older and still working through the same questions.

It was helpful to see that others may struggle with the new identity of retired person. It was helpful just to share what we are doing and how this fits into how we see ourselves. Holding the label of “teacher” for so long it is hard to find a new label or name. Who are we now?

We decided it really didn’t matter what name we use as long as we continued to be active in the areas that stimulate our thinking and that we enjoy.

We did end with the feeling that old is only in our minds. We did not feel old so we must not be old.

My friend left and I sat for a few minutes to check e-mail. I looked up to see a little lady with very white hair and a walker settle herself at the table in front of me. The barista brought over her drink and moved the chairs so her walker seat would fit. She pulled out her notebook and then her computer and began her work. There she was – clearly mid 80’s working away on her computer. I loved it!

So age is really all just a mind set.

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to SOL Challenge Day 11 – Aging it is all in the mind

  1. newtreemom says:

    Good discussion, well-written re-cap. And I love the picture at the end. I have a few more years to get to retirement and I look forward to it, although I know it will be a big change as I will deal with the same questions you talked about here. I agree aging, to a great extent, is all in the mind- but the creaking of my bones sometimes interrupts that thought!

  2. Carol T says:

    Where do we find community and deep discussions about things that matter? I love this question. Who will feed our professional souls? I met for Happy Hour today with teacher friends. Of the seven who were there only two of us are still teaching. We change and we grow and hopefully we will make friends with people who share our new interests. I will be in Minnesota this summer for the AFT convention. Do you attend?

    • Joanne Toft says:

      I have not recently. I have been involved in other things.
      Nice to have a community of friends to meet with. There is also a group of retired teachers that I meet with for a book group. There is lots of heavy discussion there as well. Life is amazing!

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