Updated: Dec 6, 2021
Growing Old Together – Part 3
The transition from the “Early Years” to the “Rock n Roll Years” is subtle. One minute we are basking in the glow of newfound love, the next we are "rock n rollin“. Life starts coming at us fast. From having children to becoming empty nesters, career changes, home buying, and selling, more bills, more responsibilities, moving, new friends and social networks, school, PTA meetings, vacations, funerals and weddings to attend and so much more.
This period covers approximately 20 years and occurs during the most productive years of our lives. This is the time we are striving to get what we can get. However, in all that “getting” most of us become oblivious to the lapse of time. To some of the things changing and transpiring around us. And, to what looms ahead over the horizon. While doing our best in reaching out to grab on to the big brass ring, there is the risk of losing sight of the priorities in life we started out with and the things that help to keep us grounded.
As examples, if you recall earlier blogs, we talked about establishing a rainy-day fund that can help during some of the transitional periods that may arise during this time. We covered writing out a roadmap or blueprint if you will, of mile markers to move your marriage forward into the future. We discussed time management to keep a balanced life. We can add our faith and our faith in each other as a couple as some other things that help keep us grounded.
All that said, be prepared to see unexpected changes come your way and be able to adjust. Be sure you have options in mind with regard to what work you can do and where you are willing to relocate if that helps make a positive step forward. They say that people change careers on average around three times. We are not talking about job changes but actually what field of profession. A person may have gone to school to be a lawyer, later changed to something like social work only to finally settle on getting into law enforcement. Just know that you may have mapped out early in your marriage your career path but chances are it may change. One main reason is that we change. What we liked to do at one stage in our lives we no longer are passionate about. In other cases, we simply realize after some time passes that we just aren’t cut out for it. That is okay. Don’t fret over it but rather take advantage of the opportunity to re-invent what you do with the skills and talents you possess.
In our search for the winning formulas, steps, habits and power points that may help us achieve success, we often hear terms like, building a brand, creating a legacy and establishing an empire. There is nothing wrong with being driven to accomplish such goals in life. We typically relate branding, legacy, and empire to money, power, and fame. We are all wired differently. Some are simply wired to be driven for such things. However, there is often a personal cost that comes with it. During the “Rock n Roll Years,” we all have to make some important choices as we blaze a future. Why are we doing it? Who are we doing for? What will be the ultimate costs?
A song came to mind the other day. One I hadn’t heard or thought about in a very long time but is appropriate for this blog:
Our lives are filled with good intentions. The thought that there will be enough time to get around to whatever it is we need to get around to. Priorities still play an important part during this period. What does your “priorities” list look like? Any adjustments needed?
I admire Denzel Washington. He had a love for acting as a young man and focused on being a professional at it. Due to his labor, it so happened that he became famous and rich. Yet, he maintained a balance that made him, in my mind, even more successful. He stayed married to the same woman and maintained a healthy marriage. Raised children who are successful in their own right. And, has strived to be a positive influence in the world he moves in. In the entertainment industry that is not an easy feat. He has been able, so far, to avoid the pitfalls of Hollywood.
Most of us will not attain to a position such as the one Denzel has achieved. However, success is not based on other people’s definition of what success is but on what we have defined it as for ourselves.
My father was successful in my view, although he lived his life unnoticed by a world known to worship popularity, fame, fortune, and status. He never gained international fame. Never became a millionaire. Never established a brand, a side hustle, or empire. He didn’t live among the elites. He did leave a legacy though. That legacy is found in the impact he left behind in the lives of others.
He fought in three wars. Held the title of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. Ran for Police Magistrate and won the seat which we filled for the 2-year term. But mostly, he was a family man. He stayed married to my mom until she passed away. They were our role models on how to behave as men and women. As husband and wife. As a father and mother. Few today know his name or remember his life. He represents most of us. The unnoticed masses going about our daily lives. And yet, together we shape the world and its future. Locally, it is in the community we live in and the places where we work. But most importantly, it is reflected in the type of home we establish and the type of relationships we forge. That is leaving a legacy. Impacting the lives that are closest to you for the good! Remember that as you go about your normal, daily routine.
Be sure that you can remain satisfied with yourself as you seek to make your mark. Stay true to who you are and to your convictions. In doing so you will be able to maintain your dignity. Be honest. That will keep your mind free. Do the best you can do. This provides self-worth and will allow us to maintain our inner peace. Don’t lose hope as that will keep your dreams alive. Don’t get bitter. That will infect your soul. Keep love alive. That will preserve your heart. Continue to trust in God. He will show you a way when there seems to be no way.
Lastly, don’t let the music die! Keep it a part of your life. Songs that move you. That can keep you pumped up, encouraged, happy, at peace, joyful, content, positive, uplifted, upbeat, feeling good, that will feed your soul, mind, and spirit. And, in keeping your groove. Groove, that reminds me of another song. Old school naturally. I make no apology.
If you can’t tap your foot, bob your head or shake a leg to that, it’s a good sign you need to get your groove back.
These are things that will try us during this time. Just remember, whatever you may face during the “Rock-n-Roll Years”, you can get through it, together!
As we ride down the "Rock-n-Roll Years” highway, we will come across a few things we should be prepared for. There is often a misconception that only men are impacted, but in actuality, both men and women face what is called the “mid-life crisis”. This bump in the highway shows up as we become middle-aged. No longer the young, vibrant self we once were, we come to the realization that half our lives are gone as the next stop ahead is senior status with the end of the road soon after.
Every person responds to this phenomenon differently. And, since there is more to this topic beyond what we can address here, we will dive into it in our next blog.
Until then, we wish you LOVE, JOY and PEACE!
Brad & Yvonne Adams