Day 23,663: Embracing My Next Phase of Life
As I reach this next phase of life, it dawns on me that I could be spending more time here than in any other phase of maturity. I will, hopefully, be spending 20-30 years in this era of seniorness vs. only 2-3 years spent in various childish phases, or even just 15 years attributed to early adulthood. The 7-8 years spent in adolescence seemed endless, but they will be short compared to the time I may consider myself a Crone.
Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., the Executive Director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development divides elderliness into two categories:
- Mature Adulthood (Ages 50-80) and
- Late Adulthood (Age 80+)
The good news both phases, according to him are positive. For mature adulthood, he claims “All of humanity benefits from their benevolence,” and he ascribes wisdom as the key attribute of late adulthood.
Gail Sheehy, author of Passages is herself in her eighties, but the original book only seems to chronicle the adult decades up to the fifties, implying 50 is the end of middle-age. I think 50 is still middle-aged, but why nitpick when I’m well into the end phases by either author’s definition.
Here’s the good news: The length of this next period of life has suddenly become optimistic. Just imagine what one could accomplish in 20 or 30 years? There is plenty of time ahead to learn a new language, accomplish new accomplishments, see new places, and even have a new career. Heck, the longest I spent in any one job to date has been 12 years and that is considered an anomaly in today’s age job hoppers.
My average time in any job has been about 7 years. At that rate, I could have three entirely different jobs in the next 2 decades! It’s heady to consider the possibilities! The trick is not to kick the bucket, but to continue to fill up new buckets. To that end, I’m going to try to look at this time as way to climb ever higher, even if I do hate the stair stepper at the gym.