It is a well-known fact that young children go through predictable stages. The times at which they potty train, walk, cut teeth, speak words, smile, read, write and then get pubescent cocky are all pretty precisely worked out. Parents need only pick up a book and all this development is laid right out in chart form.
But it is not generally understood that such predictability continues on through adulthood. Its easy to assume that once were in control as adults we can bend life in any direction and stop or start any stage we like. Not so. How we think and behave as adults and seniors, and the challenges we face, are equally well predicted. It is the reason age groups tend to focus on similar activities and have similar sentiments and problems.1-3
Here are examples of some predictable adult stages:
· The desire for a career that will bring fame and fortune.
· The desire to have children and mold them into perfect creatures just like you.
· The shock that your children, who think you are the center of the universe, turn into teens who think they are.
· The disorientation of an empty nest when there are no longer little munchkins running around adoring you.
· Mid-life crisis when it is realized you are not immortal.
· Health and body failing with age regardless of the best efforts to avoid it.
· The realization that you are ultimately alone.
· Concern about future security for retirement.
· Desire for legacy.
· The nagging of conscience for all the foolish things done in the past.
· Difficulty in managing all the things accumulated in life.
· Expect respect from the young whippersnappers.
· Desire simplicity and freedom from so much responsibility.
· Become cynical toward those with less life experience.
· Difficulty finding things in life that are fantastic and exciting.
· Realize that you are not as special as you once thought.
· The desire to be close to family, home and community.
· The discovery that all of your big plans in life were really quite silly and only love and goodness are important.
So dont be surprised by the turns life takes and discovery that the new trails you think you are blazing have already been well trodden. This is a reason to observe and listen to the older generation to see what lies in store. Also, dont be shocked when what you thought was forever suddenly ends or what you never imagined would happen, does. We will be chagrined more than once in life finding ourselves doing things, behaving and thinking just like the older folk we said we would never be like.
Welcome lifes new doors and determine to make each entrance, sojourn and exit the best it can be. It is the twists, turns, peaks and valleys that create the opportunity for us to grow and show our mettle. Also note that when all is said and done, the sense of goodness we knew was important in our earliest, self-aware, childhood memory ends up being the only thing worth pursuing throughout all of life. All else is temporary and superfluous.
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