Welp, I've done it….I've outlived my mom and dad. I've almost reached the age of full retirement — unless Social Security pushes it back yet again. (No matter how fast I grow they seem to stay just a step ahead of me. <grin>)
With my 65th behind me now, I can look forward to another 30 some odd years of productive life if my grandparents are any indication of my life expectancy. Thirty years to learn and grow and contribute to the betterment of my corner of the world… What a delightful thought!
Now that I've arrived, I can tell you there still isn't enough time to tackle all the projects I had to put off while I was working and raising my young'uns. Those projects still sit, waiting and taunting me to get started. They take a back seat to more pressing activities, like learning a new language and a new software and finding new opportunities to use the skills I've spent a lifetime developing.
Why am I rambling on so? Because I want to talk straight to the hearts of seniors everywhere.
If you're a senior facing challenges finding appropriate work or making ends meet, it's not you. There are way too many people out of work. right now. And, there are countless others with degrees and years of professional experience bagging groceries and doing janitorial work – counting themselves lucky to have a way to subsist on minimum wage. And, Social Security with it's built-in restrictions is designed to keep you in a financial bind. But, even with your specific challenges, remember that today people of all ages are scrambling.
The economy sucks and this whole concept that once you've reached a certain age it's time for you to vegetate is a crock. You're in a unique position. You've spent a lifetime working to be the best you could be. You've honed your unique skills and have been around long enough to have discovered what works and what doesn't. You have a lot to contribute. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
Be a little patient with those who haven't arrived yet. It's going to be awhile before they catch up with you. Focus on continuing your self education and refining your skills. If you do need to take a subsistence job, do it and consider it a valuable part of your continuing education. You'll be amazed how much you will learn about human nature and today's business practices. And, while you're at it, allow yourself the luxury to do whatever it is that pleases you most. Whatever you do, don't allow yourself to be one of those people who equates your value with the work you do or how much you earn.
If you've arrived, like I have, let's celebrate. And, if you haven't yet….well, you can't even imagine what lies ahead. You're just going to have to wait your turn.