Thursday, January 06, 2011

The Twilight Years: Nothing to do with Vampires


There was an announcement the other day at work about a well respected woman on our team who was suddenly retiring. The confident executive on the speakerphone didn't elaborate very much as to why, but he mentioned that she'd now be entering her "twilight years." Goodness, I thought, that's the same haunting sentiment as the brave but harrowing words Ronald Reagan wrote upon receiving his Alzheimer's diagnosis, "I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life." 

It surprised me that this person's career, which spanned more than three decades, was summed up with such cold, flat brevity. Just a tip of the hat and a wave of the hand?

It's as if to say the aged and elderly have already spent their best days basking in the warm sun. They've achieved their level best while at their pinnacle and must now depart the summit. Worn and tired as the white dwarf, they'll acknowledge the back end of their journey, descend the mountain and enter the shaded dimness of the day's conclusion. Then slip into the shadows.

Much in the same way, I suppose all of our roads lead to that dusky, inevitable path. If we're so lucky.

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