We dream… we plan… we work at bringing our dearest goals to fruition. But as we reach various levels, and ‘plateau’ out to catch our breath, look back and assess our progress, we can find our achievements and outcomes to differ from the original aims. The focus of Life, its dreams and aspirations, changes as the years pass. Looks so simple when you’re young and planning a successful Life with the happiest of endings — but reality is complex. Nothing prepares you for life’s events, or their power to make or break you.
0-10… the formative years, focussed on family love, security and happiness. Pre-school years can be the steepest of our lifetime learning curve, as expanding levels of ability and intellect replace physical helplessness and inexperience. Dreams focus on grandiose ambitions like becoming a princess, or a King… or maybe a firefighter or a film star. Everything is possible and plausible.
10-20… increased scholastic learning for most, as needs of self-esteem, self-worth, self-belief develop, now moving outside the close family circle to encompass friends and workmates… and increasing sexual exploration of love from a partner. Independence from family begins – sometimes with parental blessing, but often involving a deal of turmoil – as the growing teenager fights for freedom, and ‘rights’ – the right to be ‘different’ (from parents and authority figures, but identical to peers and perceived heroes).
20-30… Personal values of honesty, loyalty and respect blossom, weaving freedom with experience to create a more realistic picture of the future. They require unselfishness to build life and home — with partner, then children — along with the need for intense growth of new skills.
30-40… Achieving our physical peak as strength develops to cope with the demands, conflicts and responsibilities of ‘growing’ children, along with the general ebb and flow of Life happenings. Whilst career goals are progressing towards achievement, this can also be a time of losses, of financial downturns causing alterations in the Life plan, as reality strikes yet again. These are hard-working years as we cope with countless demands on our time, energy and skills… the price of being human.
40-50… An introspective time — another level of learning and acceptance of many unimagined situations — rebuilding and reshaping Life’s dreams with potential loss of parents and the need to adjust to being the ‘older generation’. Children leaving home to begin their own lives can open the need to face and accept the ‘empty nest’ syndrome. Time for self-examination; review of past and reassessment of future. Goals can take on a different meaning and direction.
50-60… The focus narrows, becomes more self-centered as assessment and appreciation grow of personal worth and skills. Life’s lessons have taught you increased self-esteem, independence, ability and knowledge with maturity and confidence. Time for deeper investigation and learning of spirituality and of prioritizing the greatest personal satisfactions. A time for finding increased closeness, love and understanding of friends and family as we share Life experiences.
60-80… Despite physical slowing down, this can be the most rewarding of decades. An incredible freedom can exist when the keyword is ‘time’; to sit back, taking stock of the years; exploring buried talents and skills set on the back-burner in the past; appreciating respite from Life’s pressures. A most fulfilling stage, reminiscing and accepting achievements along with the altered plans that didn’t meet anticipations. Every day is a bonus…as golden as you choose.
80+??… Unknown territory… yet!
OMP Admin Note: Christine Larsen is a writer, farmer, wife, mother, and grandmother from Australia. She has never been homeless or had significant cancer – yet – but has had exposure to both – creating a great sense of empathy and desire to help in any way she can. She is humbled by the opportunity to give one of her stories to the sincerely worthwhile causes of Cancer research and Homelessness.
To find out more about Christine and her work:
Christine Larsen, Author
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