I don't feel sixty. I don't even feel fifty. And if you revert to my original blog post in September, you will recall that I feel some age "post-28."
I have never been bothered by age "numbers".....ever.....not even now. (Do you believe I actually had a girlfriend who cried when she turned thirty?! I mean, get a grip!)
But what did hit me back when I turned fifty was the realization of my mortality, no matter how young I felt. And it's hitting me even more now. If I am lucky, I only have 20 or so years left on this earth. (If I am not lucky, even fewer.) Now that really is sobering and I don't like it one bit.
In many ways, I feel so blessed and content. Blessed to have retired early. Blessed to be healthy. Blessed to have a healthy son and healthy grandchildren. Blessed by friends and family. Blessed to have been born in America. Blessed to have lived through great strides being taken by women, which afforded me a career of my own and independence.
But I'm always looking for something to pour myself into. Something that will "help the world." So far, in my retirement, I haven't found it. And I start feeling a little panicky, like time is running out. But then I get to thinking of my life and all of the students I taught and the ones who came back to visit or write and thank me for being their teacher (believe me, there are plenty who don't have one good thing to say about me, too....) and I realize in some small ways, maybe I did that already.
On the heels of that thought, I muse that most of us aren't meant to help the world in big, earth-shattering ways anyway. That most of us, by loving and guiding and setting as good as an example as we can for our own children and grandchildren, are doing something "for the world." We are building a stable, ethical societal foundation.
And we can augment that by being active volunteering in our communities, donating goods and money to charitable organizations, lending our skills wherever they are needed.
So while I'm dabbling with volunteerism, but haven't found a "passion" for which to pour myself into yet, I will "keep on keeping on" (for you young-ins, that's a Sixties phrase) and be thankful for the sixty years I've lived and all that I am fortunate to have experienced.