Indeed, it is something that creeps up on you, even though the aging process is moving along at the same pace from the moment you’re born. Still, it does seem that the older you get, the faster time goes, doesn’t it?
Look in the mirror. Recognize who’s looking back at you? If you’re like me, you do. I’m about to turn 63 years old (pause, how did THAT happen?), but when I look in the mirror, I see a guy who's about 35 and doesn't have grey hair on his head. Now move your cursor up, click on “Home” and tell me, do YOU see grey hair on my head? Of course you do. But I don’t … really.
Take your work life; do the new, junior hires look like your children? (Or, in my case, my grandchildren, because the entry-level folks are closer to my grandchildren’s age than my kids’ ages). When you look at those entry-level co-workers, do you imagine they see you as 63, or as if you’re not that much older than them? Of course, you see yourself as in their age quadrant. Trust me, they don’t return that favor. They see you -- as the older, seemingly (maybe) wiser person who looks more like their parents, not someone they're going out for a drink with after work.
Then, you start thinking about a new chapter in your life – retirement and what that looks like in an era when people are living much longer than our parents anticipated in their lives. My dad saved during his life, raised three kids, educated them, lived a decent middle-class life and retired at 65. He was an accountant by training so, of course, good with logic and numbers and could amortize things. He figured he’d live 10 years past retirement and planned his saving that way. He, thankfully, lived to be 92, a good long life, but 15 years longer than he planned his money to last (he did fine with the money, of course, because he was such a logical planner).
Now it’s my turn, and my age-peers’ turn. We are facing that decision. Do we retire? When? When we retire, what will we do? As one of my younger colleagues likes to put it, I assume for political correctness, “what’s your time line?” That’s a nice way of saying, when are you taking your big salary off our books, retiring and getting out of our way?
Maybe those younger colleagues look at me that way, and that’s unfortunate. Because, in a blink, they’ll be me. Time moves that quickly.