Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm Not Ready For The Woods

As of yesterday I have been working for my company 22 years. Where has the time gone? When I started working here I was 34 years old. My sons were seven and three years old. Now one is a parent himself and the other is studying to be a priest. In prehistoric times, when a person got too old to hunt or gather food, the tribe just took them out to the woods and left them. The wild animals took care of the rest. I think I have a few good years left so taking me out to the woods and leaving me there is probably a little premature. Metaphorically speaking, I can still hunt and gather food. I am, however, reminded of a Native American saying that goes, "In old age nothing is better than a warm fire". As one gets older, and much of your life has been "hunting and gathering", the hunt has lost much of its appeal and the comfort of a warm fire is more inviting. Sadly, in our culture doing is more valued than being, and productivity is more valued than wisdom, so many, contrary to other personal desires, continue to hunt and gather into their old age. If you listen to the messages of our advertising industry, it is easy to think that life and work are all about the young. I would agree that younger people may have more energy and enthusiasm for the games of life. However, the numbers don't support the theory that life is all about them. We are a rapidly aging society. My generation, the baby boomers, are now hitting 60 years of age and thousands are crossing that line everyday. I am not quite there but I see the line in the not too distant future. We are a generation that must be acknowledged if for no other reason than our sheer numbers. There's too many of us to take out to the woods and leave for the wild animals. Most of us will fight you kicking and screaming if you try. If you succeed in driving us out to the woods, you will feel our absence. Older people in the future...and the future is now...will not be in the background. We will not go gently into that good night. If I don't get taken to the woods and left anytime soon and I make it here 25 years, I wonder if the company will give me a new bow and arrow instead of a watch? Seriously, I am grateful for my employment and long tenure with my company. Working here has given me many friendships and happy moments. It has given my family and me financial support and reasonable security. I have even learned a few useful skills. There have been very few moments of real regret or unhappiness. I'm happy to still be here and I hope to stay until I decide it's time to leave.

My house looks like the North Pole after a tornado has struck. We managed to get everything into the house but it is far from organized. My greatest contribution was to carry in all the boxes and to stay out of the way. Chloe seemed to enjoy all the hustle and bustle. She was a little apprehensive about the life size Santa head that we have. I think it is supposed to be a table centerpiece but to her it was the disembodied head of Santa. We finally had to cover up the Santa head. It was too difficult to explain why he didn't have a body. She was also leery of the smaller Santa that's called "The Sleeping Santa". He is lying in a bed. When you plug him in his stomach goes up and down and he snores. It's a great imitation of me when I am in bed.

No comments: