My next birthday I will turn 60. Hard to believe that I came into this world so long ago, though apparently, I didn’t want to: I was a breech birth (sorry Mom). Soon I’ll be eligible to collect a pension and receive all sorts of discounts. So I am supposed to be winding down my life and live comfortably in retirement. Only, that’s not what I want to do. I want to be one of the ‘exceptions’ that comes into my own as I enter my golden years. Fair warning, I am not planning on slowly fading out of this life by preparing for the next!
I have been doing a lot of reassessment of my life and where I want it to go. What do I like? What do I see myself doing? Where do I see myself doing it? The type of questions that I answered back 40 years ago when it was suggested that I would make a great teacher (I spent many years involved one way or another with education) or mortician (oh yeah…like that was really going to happen!) I just want to know where I want to go in the next chapter of my life.
I have never been known to follow the regular path. I have been an exception to the rule. As a teen, I complained that my younger brother didn’t have as many responsibilities as I did when I was his age. My father would look down at me and tell me it was because I was an ‘exceptional child’. I really didn’t appreciate his response then, but I guess I was. Throughout life I gravitated to various positions, not really having a full-time career since I left teaching elementary school at 28. Lots of contract work, freelance, seasonal business and now settled in the south as a landlord and B&B owner in a country where I had to learn a new language and culture.
What I have been discovering in the past few weeks of investigation is that I can choose to be an exception to the rule. I can forge ahead and create new pathways for myself rather than follow well trod path of others of retirement age. Recovery had taught me that if I want to fulfill my dreams, then I had better work for them and not expect them to arrive at my door. I have some longevity in the family and I don’t want to spend the next 30 to 40 years twiddling my thumbs waiting for the grim reaper. I want to be the exception.
I am working on the next phase. I am working on my writing. I will continue to question and seek new answers because that’s what an exception does. I want to be the guy that the devil worries about when I awaken in the morning and I want to die sliding into home plate in a well used body. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t happen if I’m sitting in a rocking chair watching Netflix all day long.
There are exceptions to every rule in life. Some kids make it out of the ghetto. Some horses with lousy odds win the race. Some ‘seniors’ begin a new career late in life.
Dare to try. Change beliefs. Step out of the comfort zone. Be the exception because, as far as I know, this is the only life we get; I intend to really live it.
Where will your road take you?