Did you know the life expectancy for the "average American" is 78.64 years. Are you surprised by this number? I was. If you break that number down by gender and race, some groups do a little better than others. Women average 81.1 years and men average 76.3 while persons of color are lower than the national average regardless of gender. I've seen the financial commercials warning me that I may live to 90 or 100 but based on the CDC's numbers, only a small percentage of us will live that long. It's kind of like winning the lottery and to quote the New York Lottery...Hey, you never know.
I'm part of the Baby Boomer generation and like most of my peer I recoil from the vocabulary used to describe this time of life. I don't feel I am elderly, a senior citizen, advancing in years, entering the latter part of my life, living the golden years or any of the other euphemism used to describe my age group. I feel this kind of language marginalizes my whole generation so I've come up with different vocabulary. I've named this stage of life The Fourth Quarter.
For those of you who aren't football or sports fans, hang with me for a bit longer. I'm working to find positive life descriptors and I believe the game of football is a good model. As in football, life is divided into quarters with each requiring unique strategies and every quarter is as important as the next. Your aren't discounted because you happen to be in the fourth quarter; winning requires each quarter to be played whole heartedly.
Who is in the Fourth Quarter? I'm basing admittance on the national average and once you hit 58, you're there. Now I'm not looking to split hairs here, I am looking to discuss this part of life using positive vocabulary. Yes, some people will live more and some people will live less than the national average but the national average gives us a starting point. How do you feel about the vocabulary used to describe this time of life? Do you view the Fourth Quarter as a postive time of life or do you feel it is "all down hill from here?" Join me as I explore living life in the Fourth Quarter.