Check out the…Wisdom of 59 video at the end of this post!
So it has been a while since I wrote anything for this blog. We got home early January at the start of the longest stretch of cold weather Alberta has seen in the last 40 years. I found it so much more comfortable to be in front of our fireplace, cuddled up and looking for ways to keep positive than commit to a new post.
We weren’t really going to be back in Canada this past winter except for the fact this was the 25th Anniversary of Keisha Productions and it was time to close that book with the fashion show that started it all. (I wrote about that and it should be in my history – Jan 20, 2019).
So, here I am clicking away on the keys and trying to find a clear thought to focus on. Today is a gorgeous day in sunny California and we just pulled the covers off the outdoor furniture. After a good amount of prep we were able to get the winter dust and dirt off of the cushions. Even with covers, something always gets underneath to dirty up the cushions just a bit. Now set up and vacuumed, I do feel a bit more motivated to write something down as I’m able to sit outdoors in the fresh warm air with the sun shining!
For a whole lot of weeks now, I’ve spent a bunch of time thinking about my age. A bit about getting old and what that feels like, but also about what age means to me… and to others! I got a brown envelope in the mail. It was from the Government of Canada and they wanted to inform me that I am now old enough to apply for my Canada Pension! In fact, they wrote in the opening paragraph of the letter “we have good news!”
So the ‘good’ news part of that is the fact I will be getting some money each month. Seems like it will be a nice amount of money, even if I take it at 60 rather than 65. I realize I contributed for this, but I really never thought about it after those payments. In fact, every tax season I found out what I owed Revenue Canada and wrote a cheque or sent a transfer to pay them…again! There was a contribution amount for the yearly maximum to CPP included in that payment, but it just was another number with no obvious consequences to me directly. Like every self respecting Canadian I got mad, yelled a bit and then paid it! Now that I am going to be getting a ‘Pension’, I get why I paid that money and it doesn’t make me as angry!
I got to retire early, from my full time work, at the age of 54. I was fortunate to have that opportunity and each day I consider myself truly blessed. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time thinking about the fact that I am turning 60 as much as I thought I might. Sure my body aches and people will hold the door open for you and then say ‘sir’. I am not sure how to do much with my computer except for a few basic tasks…typewriter, email, photo album and music…thats it! (Although I feel like I’m learning lots more for this blog.) Don’t even ask me how to get my iphone, IPad, iPod and computer all synced up with each other so I can listen to all the music, I may or may not own (still don’t have that figured out yet)! Things get a bit more complicated with each generation of new technology and although Tim is a great resource, I am a bit worried we (me) may get left behind!
I wonder if other generations worried about getting left behind with technology. Most of what I know is that the technology of ‘today’ is way more advanced than the technology of my parents generation. I’ve always used my parents as an example of what ‘old’ is and I mean no disrespect to them at all for that. For my whole life, they were the definition of old(er) and it was never or would never be me.
In my generation, things were way different than the generation before us and I am pretty sure it would have been the same for their previous generation. I heard…’when I was young’ or ‘when I was your age’ often enough to know it was certainly much different for my parents than for us. One thing is clear to me-each of us has to accept things are not like they used to be; they change!
That said…it sure doesn’t mean we have to like change! I don’t really dig that we don’t say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ like we ALWAYS had to do when I was a kid! I am very uncomfortable with the fact there is a machine that has replaced the cashier at my grocery store! I get pretty upset that there are too many in the ‘younger generation’ who ignore politics and don’t care who is in power- municipally, provincially and federally. (It should be said that I get even angrier that some in my own generation don’t vote, but I’ll save that for another blog post). I don’t understand rap music and probably haven’t downloaded enough apps that would even be an acceptable amount for someone my age. As a marketing person I had to make and accept change on a constant basis but I really do like when things are the same as I remember and enjoy a trip down the memory lane of ‘the way it used to be’.
A very nice person I got to know briefly through some fashion shows, said she really was curious about what it feels like to retire and then also to be a retired person. Its tough some days to feel like you’re not contributing in the same way but that’s okay. Its pretty awesome to not have those timelines and responsibilities and at the same time, kind of unfulfilling not to. It’s pretty remarkable getting to the point where you realize your priorities are different and the timeline you follow is way more flexible than you can imagine. Although you seem to have all the time you could want, maybe you don’t have the same amount of time even if you want it. I don’t mean to get too profound or deep…I honestly live in a most happy place with tons of positive and optimistic attitudes to fill a day. When I got the brown envelope for a brief moment and, lately, when it pops into my head…I am reminded that I am old(er)! It was a pretty profound moment when I realized …my retirement and my being old, all of a sudden just became the same thing!
Tim and I joke about age, but never in a serious way. We are well aware of the numbers that mark the length of our lives; we just don’t keep that number in our daily consciousness.
Some days my body tries really hard to remind me how old I am. We share our dismay and disgust at the things that were never the same as when we were young. When I check out the speed the world is moving forward and changing all around me, I am reminded of my age.
I really would love to sit with the new generation often and let them know people my age have some valuable experience that might be good for them to know. But I think what I’ll do first is grab a glass of wine, fill out the form and send the information back to the government. Very soon I will start to collect my pension and its going to be okay! In fact, I’ll just make that a check mark on my new ‘to do’ list. I’ve got lots on that list to do still and am so fortunate to have someone to do that with. The sunshine is a huge motivator and it’s a heck of a lot nicer, now that I can go outside of an office each day and enjoy it. I’ll also vent every now and then about how it used to be ‘when I was your age’ and how I am not having as much fun as I would like learning the new things I need to learn just to be part of this world. Cuz…’Things were much easier when I was your age’!
…The wisdom of 59
When you’re 59 you learn a few things. There are ‘cheat days’ and ‘reward days’ and cuz you’re going to be 60…there are also ‘life is too short’ days! Even if you need to take a road trip – twice, you take them! Check out this video…