I was thinking about this on my drive into work this morning, what do I want to be when I grow up? This thought was prompted by watching two older gentlemen, bundled up by Florida standards in the lower-50 degree temps, playing golf. Where I work, our CEO is in her 70’s and you wouldn’t think she was over 55 in her appearance in part because she’s active, constantly learning and continually working on something be it professional or personal.
Here I sit, inching closer to what everyone considers the dreaded 4-0 and not overtly worried about it. I haven’t ever looked my age, and I certainly don’t act my age (whatever that means) enough that there are times I know it’s gotten me in proverbial hot water both professionally and socially.
I was always brought up that age is simply a number – a chronological marking on the time spent on this planet from birth to death. Indeed, in America we don’t count you as a year old until after you’ve completed 365 days on this Earth – conversely depending on your cultural age reckoning system it may mean that you are automatically a year old on the day you’re born. Age was something to be respected, but in my household it wasn’t something that should determine how you act necessarily. Maturity should, yes, but given that people mature at different speeds, my mother in particular never really stressed that I was such-and-such an age so I had to act THIS way, unless of course, I was 13 and throwing a temper tantrum.
Which begs to differ, as we do age, and with ‘elderly’ being almost a term of disdain in America in particular, what do I want to be when I grow up as I’ve certainly not gotten there just yet? I want to be active, yes. I want to have activities I enjoy that not only keep my body moving, but my mind engaged. I want to be happy, certainly, and hopefully have been successful enough during my working years that I can be comfortable enough in my retirement, whenever that may come. I think I’ll likely be the sort that still has at least a part-time job when I’m officially retired as I can’t quite see myself being STILL for that long. I want to travel, to explore, to do the things that working precludes me from regularly doing. I want to enjoy other cultures and immerse myself in new experiences. I’m not exactly sure what that will make me. But it’s a goal at least. I want to be classic, and outspoken and be able to inspire people somehow, kinda like this lady here…
Helen Mirren, in case you didn’t know…
I want to know that the impression I’ve left on this Earth, either directly or indirectly through my children, is a positive one; that I’ve raised boys who are respectful, gentlemenly, supportive, creative, intelligent and witty. I want to know that the art I create can be appreciated by someone, somewhere. That my words, be they spoken or written, as well as my experiences and wisdom can help someone else in a time of need.
So I think, regardless how I act (or don’t act) now – that I’m on the right path. I guess I’ll see when I get there, if I ever should.