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.