I never thought becoming a senior citizen would require many adjustments. I knew there would be changes physically, but I wasn’t prepared for some of the changes due to other people’s perceptions. As a young child, I was always taught to respect elders and it’s something that followed me throughout my life. Yes, I had heard people talk about how some senior citizens are treated from time to time. I guess I was just being naive or maybe a little hopeful that things would be different by the time I actually became a senior citizen.
I remember being waited on by a young woman at McDonald’s years ago. As soon as I walked up to place my order, she informed me that I was eligible for a senior citizen’s discount. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t have a problem with getting any special discounts. What bothered me was the fact that I was in my middle 40’s at the time. Did I actually look like a “senior citizen” to her? Yes, I was a little offended at the time. Now, I am way past my forties and am proud being a retired senior citizen!
I retired from my professional career five years ago and I’m currently enjoying doing other things that I’ve always wanted to do. I just didn’t have the time or opportunity to pursue them. I founded and started my own educational consulting business which I dabbled at for many years off and on. I participated in a local business fair and met a former colleague who wanted to know why I was still working. I politely said, “Yes, I’m still working but this time I’m working for me”. So, are we not supposed to have other dreams, ideas, or goals? Are we expected sit on a porch all day and watch life pass us by?
I also noticed how some people seem to dummy down their conversations with you as if you can no longer grasp the gist of what they’re talking about or saying. And don’t dare ask any questions about technology and social media. They fly through their explanations 90 miles a second or show you something one time and you’re supposed to get it. Needless to say, I have learned in the past five years through one of my favorite tutors-YouTube. There isn’t anything better! You can stop and replay the tutorials as many times as you like without being receiving a “You still don’t get it yet” look.
I have learned so much about myself and grown in areas that I never expected to grow in. I have produced my own videos, tackled FB, been a guest speaker on several Podcast shows, and written three resource books for parents, teachers, and school leaders. Are my books bestsellers? No. Do I have a large social media following or tribe? No. Am I an influencer? No. A Tik-Tok or Instagram favorite? No. I am a proud senior citizen who still has a passion for helping and encouraging others.
I strive every day to be the best version of me. I want to walk in my purpose and continue to rely on God as my guide and source of strength. I spent too many years trying to measure up to the perspectives and expectations of others. I want to encourage other senior citizens to continue to live their best lives now. The best is yet to come!