When I was young, my mother used to tell me that I was wishing my life away because I always wanted to be older. It wasn’t just that I wanted to be older, I wanted the privileges that went along with being older. When I was twelve, I wanted to be thirteen so that I could be a teenager. When I was a teenager, I wanted to be twenty-one so that I could get a driver’s license and vote.
During childhood, and up into the late teens, mid-twenties, it feels as though time is standing still. Wanting to be old enough to go to school . . . get a driver’s license . . . go on dates . . . get a car . . . vote . . . be considered an adult . . . and the years can’t go fast enough.
By the time you hit your thirties, you’re not in a hurry to see the years rushing by. Career women become aware of their biological clock running out, men start to think of settling down and starting a family, and suddenly, both genders are more than willing for time to stop, or at least to slow down considerably.
This is especially true in the workplace.
Many years ago, I was hired as the Personnel Director of a department store and the store manager told me that the most desirable applicants are between the ages of 35 and 40.
That seemed so unfair. What happened to the concept of life experience and work experience? Was that no longer important? Were the other age groups supposed to just “go gentle into that good night?”
And then the baby boomers started to hit retirement age and they didn’t want to retire at 65. In fact, most of them couldn’t afford to retire at 65.
It’s an amazing thing. When you suddenly realize that you haven’t saved up enough money to retire, or when your retirement fund or pension fund has been embezzled by your employer, you have to find the energy to keep working.
Our workforce, that used to be dominated by younger employees, has been getting older and employers are forced to hire them and acknowledge that experience counts more than, or at least, the same as, youth.
It’s also a fact that, in addition to living longer, most senior citizens are healthier, act younger, and want to be more productive in their old age than they wanted to be in their youth.
Move over, you young whippersnappers . . . the old geezers aren’t quite ready to retire.