On the Usefulness of an Older Person

It’s an idyllic life… maybe. Photo by ©Lloyd Lemons

There is a missing ingredient that causes many baby boomers to wonder what happened to the anticipated blissfulness that would become our later years.

That missing ingredient is the sense of being useful and valued. But suddenly, the kids are grown. The career is over. No one calls seeking advice. Social connections dwindle, and so does our sense of purpose. Many of our value propositions have disappeared. This perceived lack of usefulness hurts us on so many levels. It leads to depression, a fear of what’s next, intellectual laziness, weight gain, poor health, and too much idle time that frees us to worry about inconsequential things.

So, where do you go from here?

The fix for this dilemma is to rediscover or reinvent your value as a human being. You’ve acquired a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom that’s valuable to many people, young and old. It’s relevant to your neighbors, friends, grandkids, institutions, and businesses.

A beautiful spot in the country about 35 miles from my home. Photo by ©Lloyd Lemons

You are wiser today than you were 10 or 20 years ago — more patient, more discerning.

Consider yourself a work in progress. Your usefulness as an older person hasn’t diminished, it has grown exponentially. You are wiser today than you were 10 or 20 years ago — more patient, more discerning. Your problem-solving skills are sharper than a younger person’s.

I write about getting better at getting older including culture, fitness, business, tech & more. Check out The NotableTribe.substack.com — a free newsletter.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store