Having spent some quality time with several good people in their late fifties and sixties this last week; I think I’ve noticed something…
1) They were each either fearing or dealing with the end of their working lives.
2) They were each ostensibly ok about it, but seemed subtly troubled none the less.
3) They all hoped in one way or another that either dramatically changing their lives or throwing themselves into their relationships would make it ok…
I’m not so sure. I think what they were wrestling was irrelevance, loss of status and fear of terminal decline. Who can blame them?
For my part, I just wanted to be where they are – so I could imagine a life without work as the constant metronome.
A few weeks off seems to tell me I’ll cope just fine with a life of leisure; but I’m sure when my time comes I’ll be wrestling my demons as they are.
Hope however springs from something each of these encounters (and several others with younger folk) have reinforced… Everyone wants just two things in the end: to be noticed, and to be listened to.
I reckon if you can stop and properly listen to people, you’ll always be in demand.
Time will tell; but I think a couple of my older friends were fearing people wouldn’t be so interested in what they have to say any more. I think they’re right.
All people want is for you to listen to them.