Sunday, June 22, 2014

Scary stories we tell ourselves about growing old

As a life & career coach I help people to get unstuck so they can reach personal goals quicker and easier. While doing this work I've noticed that mortality issues often cause us to freeze, avoid, or freak out more intensely than other challenges. So anything involving sickness, starting a family, the death of a loved one, the death of a pet, aging parents, saving for retirement, and more, can trigger really intense feelings and stall progress toward related goals.

Addressing our mortality doesn't always have to be a heavy conversation. Sometimes it can be approached from a humorous angle.

For example, a female friend of mine has a theory about all women's worst fear. She thinks that womendeep downare afraid they're headed toward one of two dreaded situations in their elder years:

  • The homeless bag lady pushing the shopping cart down the street.
  • The cat lady who needs an intervention to remove the animals from her home.
During conversations involving fear of getting older, I'll mention this to my female clients, and they'll look at me wide eyed as if saying How did you know that?! Then we'll have a good laugh about it.

Check this out:

I'm not quite sure what the male version of that growing-old fear would be, but at the age of 53 I know what's been on my mind lately. Every once in a while I'll observe one of my reactions to change or to the younger generation, and I fear that I'm becoming a Grumpy Old Man. You know, the one who opens his door and screams into the neighborhood, Arrrrrrr! What's WRONG with you kids today! Get off my lawn! Arrrrrr!!!

But that's not happening, right? I'm still cool, right?  ;-)

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