Are You Qualified?

Being a senior is an important status in life. A senior citizen is often defined as an elderly person, especially one who has retired. When you are a senior and life is an up-escalator to great expectations, you may dream that you will never really have to think very much about it. Life is good. You have the friends you have gathered around you for more than a half century, they know what you are. You have buckets of experience to play around with. But then you discover the times you have known for years move away, or you move away to a new environment like a senior’s community or a new house or condo in a strange, maybe younger, neighborhood or city. All of a sudden the familiarity and the support of well tested experiences begin to vanish before your eyes. Once again you may find yourself faced with the task of proving seniorship. It feels like being a freshman in high school again. Doubts start to set in, but you don’t have to limp to prove it.

There are so many hints from the worldly people how to go about this process of being a senior: Join clubs; Volunteer to help other people to meet other seniors; Make a list of the activities you enjoy and those new ones you would like to try, and meet others who enjoy the same thing; Join a gym, book club, The Elks, the Eagles, or just a golf club or bowling team; or ride a bike, fall off, and meet all the people who come to the rescue of the old person; And the logical fall back idea is to join a senior’s club; to meet people your own age … and the list goes on: Things to prove to others who you are.

Seniors come in different categories. There is the upper stage of seniors who are from the ‘silent generation’, maybe born during the Depression or before the big one, WW 2. Or those born after that called the ‘baby boomers’, who were born in the Summer of Life and later became yuppies with all its historical and hysterical implications, many remember that era.

Meeting people your own age is the key here to be qualified. There are criteria that must be met to prove you are your age. Do you know what a cap gun is, remember glass milk bottle and ice delivery to the door, TV test patterns, or curb finders for the side of the car? If you ask for the location of the nearest phone booth so you can make a call, do people look at you like your crazy? If they ask, ‘what’s a phone booth?’ you turn around and walk away and look for a cigarette vending machine or a Checkered Cab. Flash cubes, Lincoln Logs or free maps or air for the tires at the gas station are buzz words to check the age scale of your seniorship. Repeat these to other seniors and they will know what you are talking about; if they know, they qualify.

“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” There may be some wisdom spoken here by George Burns. Possibly you shouldn’t limit your new friends to people your own age. After all, said Martin Scorsese, “The young people today are the 21st century.” It might be wise to fold a few of them into your circle of friends to keep being hip and groovy and up to date on things you wouldn’t normally think about. Of course, of some things they may not know what you are talking about, but maybe you can teach them a little off-the-wall history.

This is a hard life-game to play. Too often you will find yourselves in relationships that blow hot and cold. You meet people and maybe even find them to be friendly and enjoyable only to have them disappear shaking their head. That’s the way it is. Making new friends means being willing to dedicate a little time and effort to keeping your relationship going. It doesn’t mean that you and a new friend have to be exclusive or together every day or even speak the same language. It does mean that if you want to keep your new friend you have to put the time in to develop the relationship. Being a qualified senior shouldn’t exclude other age groups.

There is no replacement in this world for companionship. As seniors sometimes we need to remember that like anything worthwhile, making new friends our age or younger takes work, and it takes time. Just do it and have fun with it. Just remember what Bette Davis said, “Age is no place for sissies.”And to qualify as a senior you must hold your chin high and acknowledge what you have experienced and what you know because of it. Don’t be shy.

©2013, Patrick Kennedy

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Man arrives as a novice at each age of his life. - Nicolas Chamfort

Patrick M. Kennedy (P Manvel Kennedy) has been a professional writer, editor, and graphic artist for over 30 years. He is the author of three books: More Fun with Retirement: A coffee break for seniors, How to Have Fun with Retirement, and Being a Senior Citizen: You rnew phase of life with many questions looking for answers. and his latest book: More Fun with Retirement: A coffee break for seniors. He currently works from Boise, Idaho. In the past he has worked from Seattle, Indianapolis, and Las Vegas. He keeps busy because he knows it is important when writing or editing any material with a particular objective in mind, for either personal use or business goals, to present ideas with quality, clarity and accuracy. He can do that, and he does most of it himself, but he occasionally must call upon qualified associates for assistance.

"My Resume shows me as an experienced professional writer and editor who specializes in the English language. With years of professional experience in the writing/editing/graphics field, I offer quality services to both individual and business clients, with prompt and accurate solutions designed to meet their needs, and online editing services and writing services for easy and quick results.

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