Thursday, December 01, 2011

No Longer Relevant

"I'd like to be viewed as something alive and relevant, not some fossil." ~ Brian May

I used to think the worse part of aging was decline of physical and mental capabilities.  Seeing a significant loss in capability versus what I was able to do in my younger days was a depressing thought. However, this year, I realized there was a worse part of aging than the decline of capabilities.  It's the loss of relevance.

The idea of being irrelevant became very clear during the Thanksgiving holiday when I watched the movie Secondhand Lions in which the main character, Hub McCann, expresses his fear about "becoming useless," despite having a glorious career in the French Foreign Legion.   His fear resonated with me.

Yes, I am no longer relevant to younger people due to my age (53) and being early retiree (in 2007).   As my nephew has told me, his world is much harder than the world in which I lived as a child.  Therefore, my past experiences are not meaningful and my perspective is outdated.  For example, my daughter doesn't seem to think I know enough to help with her advance first grade homework :-)

Perhaps, that's why I enjoy tutoring college prep exams.  It may also be why I took on a temporary full time job as the Executive Director of a non-profit.   In these roles, I am still relevant and making a positive impact.   And, for brief moments, I feel much younger than my actual age :-)

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial or aging advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

 Copyright © 2011 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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