Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Age And A Meaningful Life

Yesterday I took my annual Vitality Health Assessment.  The good news is that I am getting younger.  According to the test I am now 66 years old.  The bad news is that I am really only 62 years old.  However, last year I was 69 years old.  Since my Vitality age is 66 I wonder if I can go ahead and retire?  Although it wasn’t tested, my mental age is approximately 25 years old.  My question to you, in the words of Satchel Paige, is “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was”?
Young people often have existential angst about their future.  They sometimes ponder, “What do I want to be when I grow up”?  Older people like me have less angst about the future because the future is running out of time.  My angst tends to be more along the lines of “What kind of life have I lived”?  I wonder less about what impact I will have and more about what impact I have had.  Young people wonder if their life will have meaning.  Older people wonder if their life has had meaning.  I find myself wondering what my legacy will be.  When I am gone from this place, whether through retirement or moving on to the next level of existence, will my being here have made a difference?  I don’t care much about success in traditional terms.  Titles and paychecks don’t mean as much to me as whether or not I am living a meaningful life where I make a difference and people notice my absence when I am gone.  Are you living a meaning life?  Do you make a difference?      

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