I love this quote from Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Anything that is in the world when you were born is normal and ordinary and just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’ re 15 and 35 is new and exciting and revolutionary, and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you are 35 is against the natural order of things.
Come on now. Let’s see at least a little smile.
Thinking back to my life’s adventure, I think it was difficult, if not impossible, for me to relate to these stages until I was well within them. I’m definitely in the time frame of evaluating the natural order of things. Why can’t everything just stay the same for a while?
But I’m here now, with no way to go back to the good old days. In fact, I’m in my grandchildren’s good old days. I try to help them maximize the benefit from these days and not waste it on their youthfulness.
How do I do this? Well, first, I’m not their parents. I don’t have that day to day responsibility. I can send them home if one of us is having a bad day. I can have a different role. I can pick times to have fun and times to help them learn and grow.
I have time. When the children bring things to me to open for them, I can tell them they are good problem solvers. I know they can figure out how to get the item open. I can outlast their wining for help, so they go and find a way to open the package. It may not be the most efficient way, but they had set a goal and reached it on their own.
I support the parents by reminding their children how much their Mom and Dad do for them. There are so many thankless and invisible chores the parents complete that go unnoticed. It needs repeating over a long time while finding the balance of not just droning on about it.
Career choices are a challenging decision area in these times. Although the quote suggests stability here after age 35, I don’t think that holds true. How can they select a career that might not exist long before they retire? Retire? When will that even be possible for my grandchildren?
When they give me an opening to talk about their careers, I offer the following. I encourage them to make as few decisions as possible to keep open future and currently unknown opportunities.
I caution them that their facility with current technology will probably not last. I can tell they don’t believe me, but I hope they might see the wisdom sooner than if I say nothing.
So, reviewing the lengthy quote again, Give it a bit of a think. How are you handling the threat to your natural order of things? Now ask yourself: “How is that working out for you?”
My thanks to St. Albert Seniors Association: 780-459-0433 for making this Blog possible.
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