This month a new newspaper is starting in Redlands. It seems an appropriate time to talk about new beginnings.
Our senior years are often referred to as the Third Age. The first age is childhood and youth, that supposedly carefree time learning about ourselves and our world; the second age is adulthood, a time of establishing our career, raising the next generation and more learning; the third age, our senior years, is a time for using our wisdom, retirement and guess what? More learning.
We never stop learning and our senior years can be a time of new beginnings. Retirement from paid work can make way for pursuing new interests and adventures.
Since over 45 per cent of our population in Redlands is of English ancestry, there is some interest here in a new beginning in England in May. Few of us have seen a monarch enthroned. This new monarch is a senior, taking on his most important role when his contemporaries are retiring from the workforce, and bringing with him a well written page of life, unlike his young mother at the time of her coronation.
Closer to us down under is the prospect that our First Nations people are looking towards a new beginning. This year will show a renewed, long overdue focus on their status and, no matter what the outcome of the imminent referendum, the voice will be there.
Already with the lead up, the voices of the First Nations seniors, those who have forced the debate, will not be quelled. New beginnings are afoot.
And our growing number of seniors find new beginnings in retirement. There’s those of us who begin new pursuits we’ve only dreamed of: grey- no-madding around the country in caravans or cruising off to faraway places, developing amazing gardens, volunteering in the community and those who find new beginnings in pursuing unexplored skills and knowledge, and uncovering their creativity.
I can think of three seniors who did not give up on their new beginnings.
One was a 70-year-old lady with two indulged sons who told her she could never get a driver’s license. She did, just to prove she could, and, seeing this as a new beginning, drove around until her nineties, only ceasing when she finally drove off the planet.
Another very independent lady of 90-plus had her allowable driving range cut back while attending classes. She could no longer legally drive the distance, but did she give in?
Undaunted, she saw a chance for a new beginning where she changed to classes in a different subject closer to home. She continues on her path of learning.
A fellow who retired at 65 discovered a new beginning in writing poetry.
He became one of Australia’s top bush poets and on his death bed in his late eighties was still waxing lyrical.
Here’s to new beginnings, particularly for those trying something new in the Third Age.