On Friday, Pauline and I were part of an audience of people in the second half of life (one or two might object to that designation, though for the most part we have travelled further than we have to go!) who spent some time with Gordon and Gail MacDonald talking about life. Aside from the rich discussion of their own relationship and of some of the themes of the second half, Gordon’s set up for the day included an overview of a series of questions which characterise each decade.
- Teens: Who am I, and who am I becoming? Questions of identity.
- Twenties: What will I do with my life, and with whom will I do it? Questions of goals, place and community.
- Thirties: How do I manage my responsibilities and keep renewed? Questions of order and impact.
- Forties: How do I feel about the person I’ve become? Questions of uncertainty.
- Fifties: What is my vision for the second half? Or have I reached a ceiling? Questions of change and intentionality.
- Sixties: What does a person of my age bring to the table? Is there still a place for me?
- Seventies: How do I handle the sense of loss? Questions of grieving and rearranging.
- Eighties: What can I offer a world that sees me as feeble and obsolete? Living with obscurity.
- Nineties: How do I deal with end of life issues? What is my legacy? How will I die? Who will remember me?
PS – noticed that Andrew Wilson (@AJWTheology) has been tweeting about the same issue: here is his take on it.
Teens ask—Who am I?
20s—Do I matter?
30s—How do I do all this?
40s—Is this it?
50s—Can I keep going?
60s—Am I obsolete?
70s—Was it worth it?