OVER THE HILL: Think Again

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We Don't Need No Rocking Chair

Like all aging adults with concerns of being less than productive I can tell you, getting older doesn’t have to mean you are ready for the rocking chair. Think before you throw in the towel on life. If you think you are over the hill, think again. Life can begin at fifty. We still can do things for ourselves and our family. The most important thing we can do for our family is to concentrate on fulfilling our own life goals. It’s never too late to be happy. I’ve seen too many folks talk themselves nearly to a state of depression just because they think they can no longer do the things they use to enjoy. Some may even convince themselves they no longer want to engage in the activities which gave them comfort in the past even though they have more time now with the family grown and out of house.

The working class, American, now work well into their seventies with little sign of slowing down. Slowing down would alter their lifestyle. Healthy or not, they keep going. Some do it for the company of others. They fear being alone. Others work to an older age because of the high cost of living. Social Security checks are barely half of what they would make working and with the loss of retirement funding which was soaked up when the stock market crashed, many are left without a savings to fall back on. For many seniors keeping active keeps them from boredom and helps keep their minds sharp.

Some older citizens have taken on new jobs long after their initial retirement dates. We tend to slow down as we age because of job related issues we had earlier in life. Just because we can no longer do a certain task as we’ve aged doesn’t mean we can’t still give wise advice to the younger work force. Consultants are valuable employees to many companies throughout the world. Experts write important information in books, magazines and newspapers. I am sure they don’t consider themselves in the least bit retired. So if you think you are over the hill, think again. You may have more to offer now than you ever had before. Most importantly our self-esteem will stay higher than it would if we just took over that rocking chair.

Life's Goals Are Important To Us

Life over fifty may leave us with regrets of not seeing or doing things we always wanted to do. Don’t wallow in self pity. It will only stop you from any unfinished goals you have. The only person to stop us from doing anything is us. I can tell you many of my own goals in life were complete after fifty. I have kept myself in the working class community thinking I lacked time to pursue dreams. I was wrong. Very few people with full time jobs have all their time devoured by the workforce. If it’s important enough to you, you will find the time. We all have responsibilities away from our full time jobs like household duties and family obligations, but we are not married to our house and if our family, think anything of us, those sharing our homes will also share in the everyday chores. If they don’t, too bad, I guess their living quarters will be less than tidy.

I was well over fifty before I decided to take up writing again. By again, I mean I had tried in the past only to be discouraged by too many other responsibilities and the confidence I needed to pursue it. It turns out that low self esteem had more to do with me not writing than anything else did. I had taken a writing class back in 1989, I earned a diploma, but I let anything and everything stop me from writing to my full ability. I lost touch with my own goals. Of all the things I have wanted to pursue in life, writing was at the top of my list. As the home computer became a bigger part of my past-time I decided to give this writing thing another shot. I enrolled in an on-line writing class in the fall of 2010 and this time I gave it my full attention. In June of 2011 I received a diploma, this time passing each semester in flying colors. I’m not saying I aced it, but to me that 89 average was as good as an A. After all I’m well over fifty, I forget things and without good notes my recall is zero at times. I can tell you it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I’m not only doing something I enjoy, but I’m keeping my mind from fermenting like apple cider. My memory has improved a great deal. I may never get any awards in grammar or write any best seller, but I’m not giving up yet. I refuse to believe I am over the hill.

I still work a full time job away from home. My dream of being self employed and working online at home kind of got changed over time mostly because the right opportunity hasn’t come along yet. Working at home full time may give me a cleaner house and more time to write, but at my age making a hermit of one’s self isn’t a good idea. Old bones and aching muscles need to be active to stay intact just as our brains do. Use it or lose it is not just a theory and anyone over fifty will agree with me. Any of our life’s goals can change. The ones extremely important to us will always be there.

If You Still Think You're Over The Hill, Think Again

Our golden years can be as much of an adventure as our younger days. Maybe you have a special place you always wanted to visit, but never got the chance to. Now is the time to take that trip. If your health is still fairly good and you have a way to pursue it you’ll be on cloud nine for years to come just by letting yourself go on a much needed get-a-way. In the past six months I have taken two major trips I never thought I’d ever get to take. If not for my son doing the driving and encouraging me to go I probably wouldn’t have. I got to meet a childhood hero from an old western series along with other celebrities. I visited some family otherwise too far for me to travel to. I toured the sites of Nashville and I finally after all these years of being an Elvis fan got to visit Graceland. If I never get to travel again I got to do the ones I most wanted to do. I’m not over the hill yet by a long shot.

Romance after fifty may differ from your youth, but many folks will tell you it can be just as exciting. For the single person reaching fifty doesn’t mean a chance at love is impossible. It means you only have to find that special someone just as any other age group would. Many a happily married couple found romance after the age of fifty. For those of us who married early in life still bonded to our first spouse and our only love affair, we know things have changed over time. We have either gotten stronger in the relationship or we have gotten comfortable with it. Maybe the fire needs rekindled or the spark never died at all. Many circumstances can change the way our marriage once was, but if we are still holding on to it with all we have, nothing can cloud the sky over a loving couple as long as they are still breathing. So if you think you’re over the hill, think again.

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Comments 8 comments

Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 4 years ago from San Francisco

Agreed! If I didn't become handicapped, my wife and I would still be dancing and this now 17 year old will still be trying to beat this old man at tennis


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

Thanks, Mhatter99. I'm sure you can teach them all a trick or two even with a handicap. I know you have some great stories to tell the younger generation.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I am 56 and feel strong and vital. I do get tired quicker but a little rest renews my energy. I occasionally help a younger friend who has a cleaning service. She and her husband constantly remark upon my ability to get the work done fast. I am not over the hill. I intend to be a productive person and see the century mark. Like you, I let my writing dream fall by the wayside but am making up for that now.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Here, here! Nothing has to stop, ever, if given the good graces and fortitude.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

Thank you, Hyphenbird, for stopping by. I often have to remind myself the ole girl may not be what she use to be, but has become a whole lot wiser. Too many excuses will stop us from enjoying life.


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

I totally agree, aviannovice. I never know what may send me into a rant, but when I see people younger than me giving up it makes me ask why. Surely life is not over yet. It's funny how a thought such as this can fire up enough reason to write about it.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

We have a saying that Life Begins at 40, but my Chinese friend tells me that Confucius said that it begins at 70. Woohoo! Way to go!


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa. Author

Thank you for stopping by, BlossomSB. I hope we all have so much more to give. The rewards will be worth it.

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