In a few days, according to the societal predisposition of my awesome country Canada, I will be classified as a Senior.
Now, there are variations on a theme as it pertains to what qualifies someone to enter this auspicious stage of life. Some Federal, Provincial and private entities bestow the title on those who have attained the silver-lined age of 55. (That would be me by the way). Others require an individual to be 60 or 65 years old. That then affords me a minimum of 5 to 10 years to potentially nurture an unqualified state of denial. I figure if it takes that long to wrestle with the reality of turning 55, then by the time I actually am permitted to graciously scale the misty heights of 60 or 65, then all arguments to the contrary will be null and void.
If truth be told, as much as I am looking forward to this stage of my life, my level of introspection on what has transpired thus far to get me to this point, has taken a quantifiable turn. I presume the older one gets, the more one takes stock of one’s life. It is natural to weigh in the balance what you thought of, desired, or planned for your life as a young man, with where you presently find yourself. Borrowing an analogy from the sporting world, what has been uppermost on my mind is the identification of my life’s Sweet Spot.
In simple terms, a sweet spot is a place where a combination of factors results in a maximum response for a given amount of effort. Now given that I fall on the side of being genetically masculine, my tendencies lean toward rating myself through performance or accomplishments. While these are not inherently bad indicators of a person’s worth, more importantly, they are not the most healthy of litmus tests to gauge one’s equilibrium and value. Our society intensively advocates and promotes the successful; the strong; the popular; the beautiful. Again traits and positions that are not in themselves improper, but when you are forced to measure yourself against such demanding, or in some cases, unforgiving standards, your inner man; your psyche; your spirit, becomes weighted down and diminished when unhealthy expectations prove impossible to live up to. For me it has at times been challenging to identify if I even have a sweet spot, compared to even living out of one.
To that end, I figured why not work backwards with what I know.
I am a husband of almost 27 years to a woman who I am learning daily has more value and love to offer than I have sufficiently acknowledged.
I am a father of the most awesome adult children a man could ask for.
I have now transcended from Fatherhood to Grandparent with the arrival of our first Grandson.
I have had the opportunity to taste the sweetness of a dream fulfilled in having the opportunity to pilot aircraft in the mountains of British Columbia and Northwestern USA.
I have been blessed with a rich ancestral heritage that spans not only generations, but continents, countries and islands around the world.
These are just a few things that aid in answering questions of significance on my part. I still fail and make mistakes at times, but I am reminded that growing older and having your once black follicles turn grey (those that remain anyway), is more a badge of honour, than a banner stigmatizing who you are as a person. After all, wisdom and knowledge come through experience. Experience takes time and effort, and yes even self-doubt and failure are valuable commodities that are indispensable to the repository of knowledge one gains in a lifetime.
Proverbs: 20 vs:29 – The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendour of old men is their grey hair.