Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going to the wedding for one of my childhood best friend’s daughter. This was my first wedding for a peer’s child and I guess it is just another milestone to indicate I am getting older.
Does getting old stink? I guess in some ways it might, but in other ways there are some perks.
As our kids get older (Jake 15, Olivia 13, Isabella 12) they need dad less every day. It really hit me last year when my baby, Isabella, moved on to junior high and no longer needed me to give her a ride to school. I miss that special time I had with her on those short car rides. The perk is now I go to work earlier (I’ve become an early riser) and finish my day earlier.
Last summer, the kids discovered that riding bikes gave them a sense of freedom and allowed them to cover more ground than walking and this summer they are riding all the time. Soni and I are no longer full-time unpaid/unappreciated chauffeur’s. We are part-time until they are driving themselves.
This spring, I passed the coaching baseball baton to my son’s high school coaches and H. S. travel team coaches. The free time I have now is more than I can fill mentally and physically as I devoted quite a bit of my free time to everything involved in running a full-time highly competitive travel team. I’d rather be coaching than not and while I’m golfing more (weather permitting) I have not yet figured out what to do with this extra time.
The whole idea of not being needed as much and eventually leading to being empty nester’s (7 years and they will all be out of high school) will present a different challenge compared to being the parent of a young child.
How will we spend our free time?
The greatest perk of all is a rediscovery of one’s self, not being defined by our children’s needs or schedule. Soni and I have already slowly began the adjustment phase by taking more time for “us”. We are going on more dates and even taking the dog for nightly walks “together” as the kids don’t need one of us to stay behind.
One of my perks of getting older is that I feel more certain of my personal financial plan. The fear of not having enough money for my kid’s college bills has greatly subsided because I have had a disciplined automatic college savings program for years. Since I’m ahead of schedule, I may save a little less and buy myself a nice new car next year. I cannot imagine how we will redirect the monthly money we put into college savings in a few years, but it will be fun.
Is it a “perk” that I seem to need less sleep? I enjoy waking up early much more than I did when I was younger.
The only thing missing for me right now is an instruction manual on how to parent my teenagers. Most of my peers have expressed difficulty with this as well, which is somewhat comforting.
Any suggestions from those that have been through this?
I suppose I feel that getting older is a good thing, because I really don’t feel older. One of my favorite questions is
How old would you be, if you didn’t know how old you were?
Right now, my answer is 35. Coincidentally, that was the last year that I cared to celebrate my birthday.
Getting old has plenty of perks, what do you think some of the “perks” of getting older are?
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