Aging is tricky business. I am 66 and sort of retired. During the last few years of my professional life as a communications person, I felt I was living in two worlds. Some days, I felt marginalized and out of step with my younger colleagues, like the time my passing reference to Ed Sullivan was met with blank stares.
On other occasions, I felt subtly patronized. People were way too deferential and my ideas were not challenged in the same way those offered by my younger colleagues were. I felt I was being given a pass. Marginalized, patronized, either way I felt less than a full partner in the work we were doing.
Still, it is difficult to know when to let go. There is a less-than-subtle societal push to move over for the next generation. After all, they have a right to shape the world in which they live. Don’t they?
Now, as I enter my second year of retirement, I have yet to find my stride. I love my new flexibility, but I have too much energy to sit at home making bird feeders in the garage. I would like to remain professionally engaged on a part-time basis, but it has to be the right work with the right people. This is unfolding more slowly than I would like.
But I am learning patience as I let my interests and passions lead me to a balance and a rhythm that works for me.
- Scott Richardson (B.A. ’72), Northfield