So I’ve been reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (actually it was our book club choice for November and I’m just now finishing it). One of the exotic locales the author visits is Bali, where she spends time with a healer named Ketut, who I find to be witty and wise. One day she asks him how old he is and he responds, “Maybe sixty-five, not sure.” Gilbert goes on the describe her attempts to nail down his age–she thinks he could be anywhere between “sixty-five and a hundred and five years old” based upon his memories.
This got me thinking: what if we didn’t KNOW what age we were on any given day? What if we picked an age to be that day? Ketut will adjust his age depending upon how tired or energized he feels at any given moment. What if we were like this? What if we didn’t get hung up on “the big 5-0” or on being old enough to drive, graduate, retire?
I’ve felt for a long time that our hang up about retirement specifically might not be healthy, or actually, biblical. Some of the Old Testament characters were hundreds of years old–I’ve never read about them selling their homes and moving to Florida. Last spring Renaissance Man and I met with our retirement adviser. He mentioned that we were probably about halfway through our careers, which left me dumbstruck. Halfway through our careers?!! But I still have so much to learn about being a teacher! The first 16 years have gone too quickly! I almost had to deep-breath and self talk!
I think I’d rather be like Ketut.