Holy crap, how did this happen? How the hell did I get asked to join an event as an Elder? Just as important, where has the time gone by?
I was recently asked if I would like to participate in an Elders weekend for the ManKind Project I went, “Wait! What? Me? That’s not possible. I am not old enough to qualify for this!” My mind instantly tried to justify my thought process by recollecting all the un-adult things I have recently managed to pull off, much to Tina’s chagrin.
The next thing to enter my little ole mind was, “Do I look that old? Do they really know me? Do they think I am responsible enough to be an elder? If they really knew me, surely they wouldn’t want me on an Elders weekend. There must be some mistake. It must be a different Neil! Yes! That’s it, they have the wrong Neil!”
But alas, all my mental self-torture was to no avail. I was indeed the person that they were looking for! After the initial shock wore off, I was left puzzled. Can I fulfill this role of being an elder? My heart and mind still feel like I am that young 19-year-old that is willing and wanting to take on the world. (With just a few more aches and pains in the physical body!) Heck. I’m not an Elder. Deny, deny… deny!
Reluctantly at first, I came to grips with the idea that I am no longer the warrior that I once was. Egoically, I still like to run with the other warriors. Slowly, I realized that I have enough wisdom inside of me to recognize that I still have many battles left inside of me but it is time to think about sharing the wisdom from a place of teaching and mentoring rather than a place of always fighting in the trenches with my fellow warriors.
That simple recognition alone is indeed merit of some elder wisdom in itself, don’t you think so? I know I do! 🙂
I can point to times and events in my life when I went from boyhood to warrior (manhood). But this eldership has kind of snuck up on me! That’s not bad. Eldership is a concept that is growing on me!
I like the term elder. In certain circles, women use the term crone but I prefer the term elder. In reality, it is the same thing.
If you are in that age category, have you taken your eldership gracefully or was it a personal battle of denial and delay before you accepted you were now an elder?
P.S. I gladly order off the senior’s menu at restaurants and take senior discounts if offered!
P.P.S My accepting and taking on the role of elder doesn’t remove me from the exuberance of running and playing with the warriors. I am just choosing when and where. 🙂