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Three Stages of Old

349. Three Stages of Old

I read the other day that gerontologists say that there are three stages of old in our society. The young-old are sixty-five to seventy-four years old. The old-old are seventy-five to eighty-four. The oldest-old are eighty-five and older.

So I am still in the middle group and will be there for four more years. I am old old. And amazingly that is o.k.

I went to annual conference yesterday just to attend a special luncheon where one of my friends was getting an award. Annual Conference is the three or four-day meeting of the United Methodist Church in Greater New Jersey. Four years ago I gave up going as a delegate and yesterday confirmed to me that that was a good decision.

I also just happened to come upon my journal entry for that day and it said: And my last annual conference begins. In the opening worship service there was the line “And in this moment we imagine and honor all those who will come after us, who have no name in this moment but will one day take our places and embody our hope… That prayer released me from the need to feel indispensable and to let go.

It is a good reminder to me when I get to feeling indispensable. In those moments it’s helpful to trust that someone else will take my place and embody my hope. I don’t want to drop out of everything, but it is clear that I can drop out of some things and know that either the work will continue, or perhaps that it is time for that particular work not to continue.

I am halfway through the second stage of oldness. Way to go Ann.

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