Childhood, Adulthood, Elderhood....

As the calendars roll over and the New Year of 2018 is upon us, I look ahead with a refreshed and energized outlook for the new year.  Yesterday, I listened to an interesting podcast that got me wondering....Dr. Leslie Kernisan interviewed Dr. Bill Thomas, https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/better-health-while-aging...The podcast was loaded with lots of interesting ideas and talking points, however, one that stuck with me, and made it to my dinner table conversation with my family was this notion of 'Stages in Life' and specifically our 3rd and final phase of life.  Dr. Bill spoke of three stages in life; childhood, adulthood and I believe he called it 'elderhood'. The notion that often as we age, generally speaking we (society, ourselves, those around us), see this 3rd stage as a negative, gloomy, unfavourable stage in life.  Dr. Bill went on to explain that as we transition from childhood to adulthood, we have very deep rooted and celebratory traditions, rituals, activities. Think....life as a child, preschool, school, post-secondary education, 1st jobs, houses, marriages, children, birthday's, graduations, trips, travel, promotions, awards, recognition, etc. We as adults and parents, shepherd and spend time, energy and resources to move our children successfully onto adulthood.   We do this with great pleasure, pride and joy.  We nurture, we save, we attend parenting courses, we invest, we celebrate.  In our society, the transition from childhood to adulthood is quite well understood, supported and generally embraced.  Now, shift your thinking to the transition from adulthood to elder hood.  The closest transition or benchmark in this phase of our life may be retirement.  Do we have marked celebrations, joyful rituals as we enter elder hood?  Even retirement, if we look to it, is received with mediocre success (in my opinion). Some retirees thrive, others don't, some do it well, others struggle, many employers 'follow the rules' and transition workers out, but generally speaking I think there is much room for improvement with employers and how they can improve to ensure a 'win-win' for both the employee and themselves as the employer.  How about how well we prepare ourselves for elder hood with respect to our finances, our health, travel plans, housing, relationships, transportation and mobility to name a few.  As we all age, I believe we need to do a better job at understanding, supporting and embracing this notion of transition from adulthood to elder hood.  Where can we celebrate and embrace this life stage, how can we do a better job at supporting our elders? What do you think? Does this resonate, or get you thinking a little differently about aging (or has all that Christmas chocolate impacting my brain!?) Happy New Year!