Not Ready for Winter Yet…

Dear Reader:

I remember several years ago Anne and I taught a Sunday School class on the importance of telling our personal stories as followers of faith and the power of sharing our life stories with others.

The study guide had a cover similar to today’s title picture- the popular four trees representing the four seasons of life and each participant was asked to pick which seasonal tree they felt they belonged in.

This assignment opened up a lot of discussion on whether we selected our seasonal tree based on chronological age or based on our outlook on life-sedate and self-confined or still curious, learning, and adventuresome…. open to new possibilities and changes.

I, personally, felt chronologically I was hanging onto fall but personality-wise there was still some ” spring” in me. No one wanted to pick winter… though a couple said if they thought of warm fireplaces, hot drinks and warm blanket… a place of comfort and not an ending… winter wasn’t so bad.

In recent days, with Tom Cruise turning sixty, all kinds of information on talk shows centers around discussions of the ” New Sixties” and re-examining aging and stereotyping. The new catch-phrase is ” Stages… not Ages.”

Cruise celebrates his big 60 at the race track in Northampton, England. His blockbuster movie of the summer has brought in more money than any other recent movie-he is at the top of his game!

Marketing has jumped on this new rapidly growing segment of the population. One of the most popular ” reads” this summer is : Stage-Not Age; How to Understand and Serve People Over Sixty-the Fastest Growing, Most Dynamic Market in the World.

The first paragraph says it all… ” The $22 trillion opportunity that can be unlocked only if you rethink everything you think you know about people over sixty. In the time it takes you to read this paragraph , another twenty Americans will turn sixty-five. Ten thousand people a day are crossing that threshold, and that number will continue to grow. In fifteen years, Americans aged 65 and over will outnumber those under age 18. People over sixty are the fastest growing age group in the world.”

These are ” My People” and now we are not only gaining popularity but a continued sense of place of importance in this world. No longer an age to be swept under the rug. * Look what happens when we live to that magical ” Goldilocks ” age when we are ” not too hot or too cold” … we are ” just right.”

So until tomorrow… Dear Father, be with us throughout our lives… encouraging us to live life daily ” to the max” squeezing out all the good …life has to offer… no matter which seasonal tree we chronologically fall under… but understanding we are all God’s ” children” living together in the Tree of Life!

Today is my favorite day-Winnie the Pooh

Susan invited me over for dinner last evening with her and Bekah! I picked some flowers to take from my garden! It delights me to be able to do so! My retirement dream come true.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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