Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Three signs of old age: 1) Memory loss, 2)........Sorry, I have forgotten the other two!

Hello reader friends and welcome to a small slice from the smorgasbord of my life on this Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Smorgasbord of life? Maybe over the top some, but when we stop and think about it, everyone has a variety of things happening, and a myriad of claims on their time, typically, pretty much every waking minute of every single day. We were previously programmed to think that at a certain age we would be able to sit down and relax. They called it retirement back during the ice age, better known as when prosperity was at least a planning mechanism even if it was somewhat of an illusive one. Today's prediction is that we will all work until we drop, most likely, that is to be taken literally. There are implications whenever you change that thought process. If we do away with retirement as we have known it in the past because of the economic uncertainties that abound, that will produce a different kind of demographic profile. Think about it. I am a part of the so called Boomer generation. Over 75 million born and I believe there are some 65 million of us still around. If we don't leave the workplace, what will that do to the pie charts that track job availability and employment opportunities? It used to be just a handful of greeters down at the big box retail outlet, now we see the gray hairs everywhere. I know there are exceptions and if you fall into that category, then be thankful, but I think we all can see that the things in the mix that will eventually require this response: "Another nice mess you've gotten me into Ollie."  (Laurel and Hardy)

To retire or not to retire, that is the question. When I think of retirement I think of mom and dad. They would likely have fewer demands on their time if they were working every day in the public arena. Talk about busy people! I know dad believes that being actively engaged, especially in physical endeavors, is a key to your health. I am certain there is plenty of evidence that would support his belief. I know a lot of what they are involved in revolves around medical matters but they also have their weekly calendar typically filled out with other activities as well. When my grandfather retired at 70, he worked tirelessly out in his garden. It was like he traded one 10 hour day for another, but my how he enjoyed working that dirt! We have a couple of guys here at the Company in their seventies and myself and a few other fellows in our mid sixties. I am typically sitting at my desk much of my work day. The other older guys are often out in the elements and believe me, it has been perhaps the hottest summer on record here. I have great respect for them and what they do. Trying to decide what to do can be a challenging proposition. Could we get by on our Company paid retirement plus social security, etc.? Most likely we could, but not without some changes to our lifestyle, and I suppose that is what many people have to weigh before making the decision to leave the public workplace arena. Some due to health challenges have that decision made for them, but thus far we are thankful that is not a consideration at this time. Maybe the decisions being made in Washington will help us to decide. What's that you say? Don't hold my breath. Yeah. If anything, it will likely only confuse matters more. But, we will seek God's help in charting our way forward.

I still have to catch myself from time to time because I look at other folks and immediately think - - old. Hey, wait just a minute. Those people are close to my age. Look in the mirror dummy! But it is true. I just haven't been able to get to that place where I am acting my age, so to speak. Maybe it's because I never was able to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up and now that it's a little late in the game to try and decide, that may be why I live in a state of confusion. That's not anything new and I am thankful for the role models who have been placed in my life. That cloud of witnesses that surround us as mentioned in Hebrews Chapter 12 were examples of those from Chapter 11, both named and unnamed, who had set the example of faith and their testimony stands as a cheering squad for us who continue to run our race. I can see those in my family who have gone on to their reward as a part of my own personal cheering squad. One commentator pictured it as each believer out on the track running their own individual race, dealing with the elements, obstacles, and challenges, but egged on by those in the stands that are chanting, "You can do it, you can do it!" That's right. Each of us have our own race to run just like those who preceded us. Your race is not my race and we all deal with different challenges but one of the blessings is to know that whether we are just getting started or even if, like me, beginning the last quarter of the race, we all need the encouragement of those cheering us on. And, we all need to be preparing ourselves to become those who will cheer on our offspring and theirs, and theirs, and that is how it is done in God's economy, and we all should be thankful He designed it that way. Amen.         ......More later.

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