I am at a crossroads in my life. I am 60, and I am not done.
I am struggling with the society imposed age guidelines that determine or suggest value and worth of contributions. At some point in an ideal world, you retire and live the high life, travel etc. While I would love to travel and live the leisure life, it’s not something that I am ready for quite yet. Retirement should not be a death sentence but a rebirth. Not what is over but what is beginning.
As for me, I continue to work. I entered the workforce at age 15 and have never stopped since. Yes, a couple buckets of time where I was unemployed but very short in duration. COVID has created an entirely different way of working and while it pushes some people to reassess their own retirement goals and many are retiring early as the new way of work doesn’t mesh with their learned style.
As for me, I struggle as work is what I have and what I am. I enjoy it. But the struggle is that I am at a point where I want to work in something that fulfills my philanthropic side. I want and need to make a difference in the world or at least my little corner of it. I have begun seeking out opportunities to fill that void, I have attempted to motivate myself to find those opportunities in my current daily work. But yet I remain unchallenged and incomplete.
I am 60, I am not done. I have much left to do. Everyday a message blinks across my subconscious like a neon sign with a short repeatedly sending a message. Go for it. I long for a challenge, a change of venue, an adventure. It is an unmovable part of my soul, my constant companion. One that recently I have noticed that it has been met with resistance. People told me this would happen. I would become invisible, non-value added. I did not believe it, yet it is becoming a reality. I am overlooked for the less experienced candidate, perhaps more malleable? Easier to mold into the culture?
In my head I analyze why is this invisible barrier is created? Or am I simply putting one there? Don’t we reinvent ourselves on a daily basis? How any times in your life have you picked up the pieces and started again? This is simply another version. I have been a child, a teenager, a young Marine, a wife, a mother, a grandma to mention a few of the life roles I have performed through my life. This morning when I woke up I began yet another version, the where do I go from here transformation?
Yes the face that looks out from the mirror is older and has some wrinkles, but if you look behind the facade you will see a vibrant, intuitive, curious sexagenarian who is ready for a challenge.
The message I want to share is that 60 is not and should not be a marker of life or value to the workforce. Do not count me out. Definitely count me in. I am just getting started.
Until Next Time,