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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Age Perspective 6

Golden Opportunities
When you're 50 you start thinking about things you haven't thought about before. I used to think getting old was about vanity--but... actually it's about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial.
_Joyce Carol Oates
They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body.
--Author Unknown
Amongst the many responsibilities that I have performed during my working life one particular one dealt with overseeing the security needs of commercial facilities.  I bring it up because it’s relevant to turning 50 years old.  The particular group of staff that I supervised was involved in all aspects of risk management with regard to keeping staff (building occupants-tenants) safe while at work. We controlled who and how the facility was accessed, from controlling doors to sounding alarms in the event of a breach of security, to notifying security responders.
One of the most basic tasks of this unit was to document and issue badge cards (access cards with photo identification).  You would be amazed at how often someone (usually ladies) would want to talk to the head of the section about getting their photos re-taken because they were not happy with the first effort.  In the early years and even now the majority of money spent on those security systems isn’t for the professional quality of the cameras. All you have to do is look at your driver’s license, picture of your Costco Membership Card to see what I am talking about.  The reasons for the complaint to the head of the unit is that once the card was printed, you would have to pay $10 for a re-issue, and all they wanted was the process redone for free.
It was always my pleasure to tell the person complaining, that I promised them that two years down the road of life, they would look at their ID badges and appreciate their photograph.  To prove it I would ask them to compare themselves to the picture on their driver’s license.  Almost without exception I would win the exchange.
The same goes for turning 50 and entering into your fifties.  First of all the alternative to not getting older is not a good one.  Secondly, you will have many opportunities to look back at your early fifties and wish you could have them back.  I actually contemplated how nice it would be for my wife and children to remember me in my forties, how I was, and looked back then.  However, when you contemplate the time that you will miss out on getting older and seeing the family grow, spoiling the grandchildren, and maybe attending their graduations, and weddings, you realize the benefit of being older even if it means having a few pains now and then.
By the time you turn fifty you are seen more as the Wiseman that you should be.  You are nearing the time that some call your second youth.  Simply stated, the family responsibility shifts to the younger family members; they are the ones raising families, you are the fifty year old, getting closer to retirement, and almost to the point of courting your wife, as in the beginning, when the romance was interrupted by life.
If you have been fortunate to take care of your health, and your finances, you can actually begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn’t a semi-truck coming at you.  Above all else, remember to be grateful for the blessings that you do have, after all you will never achieve wealth if you don’t appreciate what you have.
I am very fortunate to have a friend, partner, and wife, all in the same person, I have undoubtedly been blessed with more than I deserve, but I appreciate it and I give thanks every night before I go to bed.  Fifties is a time when you can still set goals and dream big.  Colonel Harlan Sanders had his combination store/gas station, and restaurant fail the year before he started the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise at age 65.  Colonel Sanders died at the age of 90, he got to enjoy his success for 25 years before leaving an even stronger legacy.  What might we be able to do?  The best is yet to come…..

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