Age a matter of the mind

Last August, forms from the federal government arrived in the mail for me to apply for my Canada pension and Old Age Security. They came as a shock since I really had not thought that I was “old.”
To me, my mother and her friends were old—all having well passed the 80 mark. Of course, when I was 40 and they were filling out their pension applications, that seemed old at the time.
Today, as I look at the council of Fort Frances, I note that Mayor Roy Avis and Couns. Albanese, Caul, Kitowski, and Ryan all have reached the age of retirement.
We often forget that the age in years bears no relationship to work and leadership. I look around many of the businesses in Fort Frances and smile for Bob Lidkea, Denis Busch, Doug Kitowski, Blair and Doug Anderson, Larry McCoy, Don Murray, Heiki Lampi, Larry Armstrong, Leon DeGagne, Lawrence Eustace, and Jimmy MacDonald, who all have remained active in business.
In Emo, John Gerber will hang up his coat this year as he works with new owners of his business. Last year, Dr. Brian Johnstone retired at the age of 90.
Bob Lidkea has reached his “85 factor” without his years of practice. Bob has worked through a comprehensive education program this year for the Ontario College of Optometrists to maintain his credentials.
Larry McCoy is now immersed in a similar education program for certified financial planners. Both are organizing their skills for the future.
It amazes me the contributions that seniors continue to make in our district, province, country, and around the world. Henry Kissinger, who secretly travelled to China and opened up relations between the U.S. and that country, remains active in academia.
Jimmy Carter, the president of the United States from 1980-84, continues to write volumes and has become the face of “Habitat for Humanity.” In his spare time, Carter travels the world monitoring elections for fairness.
Hillary Clinton, at the age of 67, is considering a run for the presidency of the United States and would be 70 when taking over the Oval Office should she win.
Paul Martin, the prime minister of Canada from 2003-06, now is seen as a world diplomat contributing to such initiatives as the Incentives for Global Health. He also is chair of the Congo Basin Forest Fund that addresses poverty in that 10-nation region of Africa.
I look at the senior volunteers who, year after year, come forward to donate time for the many activities that occur across the district. Many are retired from their first career and now are enjoying a second career helping out in so many different venues.
Their first career may have ended at a certain age but their new careers have no expiry date.
Retirement and age may or not be exclusive, but age is all a matter of mind and understanding that hopes and dreams still can be attained beyond our calendar age.
All we have to do is look at the examples around us.

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