Rights of Passage

There was an early start to the day here, Attila was putting the coffee on to brew at 4 a.m. this morning. On the present night shift schedule, Sunday is a transition day for Attila, shifting sleep patterns from sleeping at night back to sleeping during the day. It makes for an odd sort of weekend, three days of leisure, two of them transitional making it necessary to spend parts of the day sleeping. Attila prefers the 12 hour shift schedule. I am still uncertain which I prefer, but I know one thing, these shifts are wonderful compared to the six day a week schedule we were living with at his last job!

This morning I was thinking about one of the aspects of aging. From my perspective there are two milestones of legal significance for survival, related to age, where I live. I have passed my first, which was reaching the age of 18 years. At the age of 18 years, in Ontario, Canada, a person has the right to make their own legal decisions about their own lives; parents are no longer legally able to do this, nor are parents any longer legally responsible for the actions of the newly identified adult. The second milestone in my lexicon is the age of 65, when a person in Ontario, Canada, is legally considered a “Senior Citizen”, receives a pension of sorts, and becomes eligible for health services not covered by the Provincial health care system, which is a very big deal. While unofficially many entities in Ontario recognize people over the age of 55 as “Seniors”, this is a discretionary designation, with no legal basis.

What this means to me of course, is that there is an opportunity to celebrate two age related rites of passage. I don’t think there is a “debutante ball” for women who have officially reached their senior years, but I think it is a great idea! Most of us did not, and are not going to, celebrate our milestones with debutante balls. But we can and do celebrate our rites of passage in our own ways, knowing that as we pass over the various stepping stones of life, we are treading a path well worn by those who have come before us, and will be tread by those who follow.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

-17°C
Date: 6:00 AM EST Sunday 24 January 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: -17.1C
Dewpoint: -20.1°C
Humidity: 78%
Wind: NNW 8 km/h
Wind Chill: -23

Quote

“One of the simplest ways to get an idea of one trillion dollars is to consider the amount in terms of the passage of time. One million seconds is equal to roughly eleven days and twelve hours, and one billion seconds is thirty-two years. One trillion seconds equals thirty-two thousand years.”
Geoff Davis

Makes you wonder why anyone seeks to accumulate a billion dollars, let alone a trillion. A significant part of the human race is living on less than 1/100 of a hour using this formula, and many of them manage to be happy doing it.

6 Comments

  1. Having passed both milestones, and attached some significance to both, I can now observe that nothing much changed, either time! Well, maybe the day I turned 18—even though I had been self-supporting for years, I might have experienced some elation at finally being “a grown-up”!

  2. Diane, Attila has only been past the 18 years landmark, but he too observed that it wasn’t any different after than it was before the milestone.

    Turning 18 was a huge event in my life, there were a lot of legal things involved with being under the age of 18, that made survival very difficult, and resulted in serious loss of opportunity, with permanent repercussions. Every life is different, which makes the whole experience endlessly interesting!

  3. There allmost (or always) never is anything drastically changed when one passes from one age to another — it’s just another day. But my two milestones that you write of, 18 and 65, were both marked by work. I began full time work at 18 and was into the adult world instantly and for the duration of the rest of my life – up until 65 (or, rather, for me it was 64 as I retired a little early). Things changed drastically for me both times, too, so my first sentence isn’t really correct!

    It would have been OK if I had chosen a line of work that I loved, but office work was all I knew and I was forced into gainful employment within 2 weeks of graduating high school by my parents, in order that I could start paying them rent! I missed out on a lot of youthful celebratory lifestyles since I was working full time after that until I retired. But now, here I am back to a time when I have the opportunity to taste the world some, and I am stuck here with a body that won’t work very well. Bookends.

  4. crochetlady or Lee Ann

    18 wasn’t much of a change since I was still in high school, my grown up moment came when I left for the Army. One has to leave home to grow up, to feel adult. Since I have been retired well before the age of 65, no celebration at that end. Although I am enjoying life a bit more now!

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