Those over 60 were taught that we would retire with a substantial savings from a company we had worked for all of our adult lives.
Unfortunately, our parents lied to us.
They did not teach us how to jump from one job to the next and still be able to hobble to the workplace at the tender age of 72.
They didn’t teach us about the healthcare market; astronomical costs to maintain our health. They went from insurance on the job that the company paid for, after decades of working for the same company and retired directly into Medicare.
They did not teach us that we would be competing with youth of all ages and that are experience and wisdom didn’t mean quite the same as it did for them in the workplace
They also did not tell us that people would be promoted whether they were qualified or not.
They taught us about establishing college funds for our own children but forgot to tell us how much we needed to send our kids to school.
They did not tell us that our tri-level home or two-story condo would cause havoc on the kneecaps and that a steady banister on stairs would actually be useful.
They did not teach us to celebrate our golden anniversaries and birthdays with a designated driver. In fact, they left out the part that one alcoholic beverage would knock us out and caffeine would keep us up all night.
They did not teach us organization tips like putting our keys in the same spot every day so we didn’t have to rely on failing memory to find them.
They did not show us the proper way to go down a playground slide with our grandkids.
Unfortunately, in their timeline, there was no way to teach us about internet violence, terrorism, social media political back-stabbing, online buying subject to constant security checks and threats.
We were taught to never speak in public about politics or religion.
We were taught decorum and respect.
We were taught to trust.
They didn’t tell us that we would hate crowds, loud music, traffic jams and driving in bad weather. They didn’t let us know that we would be fearful driving in blizzards and that is why their older counterparts moved to warmer climates. Now we know!
They didn’t tell us that we would be screaming out 1973 after a song recorded 40 years ago had been played. Nor did they admit that 40 years ago would seem like yesterday.
They didn’t tell us about constant maintenance and more maintenance of the mind, body and spirit. And they didn’t tell us about the exhaustion that came with all that constant maintenance as well as a waistline that would continue to bloom regardless of what we did to decrease it.
Finally, they did not teach us how we should take care of them. They never wanted to go there and neither did we.
What We Do Have
When I take the time to look back and remember, my aunt used to always tell me that it was hell to get old. I was just too ignorant to listen. Why should we, old age was incomprehensible and would never happen to us. Surprise!
They didn’t say surprise when we started to falter or that, ultimately, old age would sneak up on us and be filled with all sorts of surprises.
It all depended on how you looked at it.
For me, however, they did give me one quality of life that is timeless and I intend to keep regardless of the aging factor and that is a sense of humor!
Hopefully, the rest of you can laugh at yourselves as the gifts of aging, keep on giving.
And the love we shared in our youth for many is stronger in memory than ever before.
Actually, those are the healthiest resources we have!