Let’s speak of aging. All of a sudden no matter where I turn I’m seeing articles about aging. I hear conversations from people that are fearful about turning older. And believe me, this is at all ages – even 30-something year olds!! My son just turned 30, and you would have thought it was 60! He felt as if leaving his twenties was a sure sign of getting older. Add a few gray hairs to the mix, and wow – unbelievable!! He was actually depressed!
Maybe I’m writing this blog because I’m having a birthday in a couple of weeks, and my thoughts have turned in that direction! Well, I’m turning 58-years old! Not afraid to say it either!
I think back to when I was a young woman just graduating with my master’s degree. At 22, I was very young for my age. I took my first job as a counselor for two underprivileged schools where I had to have parent conferences multiple times a day. Their children weren’t performing up to the schools standards for perhaps learning or disciplinary problems. All I know is that when I sat across from one or both parents and they told me about what was really going on in their homes, it made sense. Families would share their stories of being laid off from work, living with 10 people in their home, and not having enough money to feed their children breakfast or lights for them to do their homework. Some families had older pregnant siblings, others were strung out on crack, and sometimes the kids had to ride with their parents in the middle of the night to bail their sibling out of jail. Imagine…I’m asking why they’re falling asleep in their class. It’s almost ridiculous.
I listened to these parents as they shared how badly they wanted a better life for their children. I remember thinking, “What on earth am I going to be able to say at the age of 22, never married, no children, raised in a very middle class home, never had siblings that were off track, what could I say to help them?” Boy did I wish I was older then! I would always say I was in my twenties to try to sound more knowledgeable, but all I could do was speak from the heart. I joined with these parents in their feelings of hardship and struggle to help them see that they could choose differently for their children. I think it worked. I had a great 10-year run in these school system until I went into private practice 25-years ago. And along the way, I always wished I had more experience and was just a little bit older!!
Well, guess what? I’m perfect now! Haha! I don’t need to be older. I’ve experienced a wealth of knowledge, listened to thousands of stories, and I am now at the perfect age! And what do I still do? Speak from the heart of course…and I can join with others every time!
You are timeless in your ability to connect with others! What is something you do to connect with those at any age?