– Quite often, we do not see it coming.

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A rite of passage we must all experience is becoming a “senior.” It can be used to denote the final year of high school or college, or graduation from some other institution, such as a tour of duty in the military. It denotes we are growing older which we commonly overlook.

When I was a senior in high school, age 18, I was in the downtown area of my hometown of Wyoming, Ohio wearing my WHS school letter jacket. I was waiting for a ride and just minding my own business. Nearby were two kids, about age 10, who were talking. I overheard one of them say, “Let’s ask that man over there what time it is. Hey Mister…” I was surprised by the comment, and at first didn’t realize they were talking to me. To be recognized as an adult for the first time was an epiphany for me, something I was unprepared for. Only then did it occur to me I was growing up.

More recently, I was recognized as the 2015-16 Outstanding School Volunteer for Palm Harbor University High School (PHUHS) for my work with CABAM (Center of Academics for Business Administration and Management), a special program within the school designed to provide for the education of business related skills. Personally, I believe it to be an important program and something I wish I had when I was in high school. I appreciated the honor, but noticed I was selected for the “Senior” category. Just as when I was 18, I was surprised by the designation as I still consider myself a regular adult who continues to work. While others my age are scrambling to retire, I cannot see myself doing so. There is too much to do yet, and I do not play golf or shuffle board.

To me, becoming a senior means you possess certain experiences and people rely on your expertise to advise them on various matters, such as in business, education, a particular craft or skill, politics, and life in general. To do so, you must be willing to give back to your community or industry and offer wise counsel.

Not everyone feels this way though. I have met too many people check out when they retire, becoming apathetic, and dropping out of sight.

What I find interesting about the “senior” designation, it is something we all yearn for as we grow up; to be recognized as some sort of experienced expert. I was disappointed when I became a senior both in high school and college. After all of the expectations, I found it wasn’t a big deal. “Is this all there is?” I would lament. I believe we are in too much of a hurry to grow up and do not spend enough time enjoying the moment. However, there are instances where we do not see it coming, such as when I was 18.

Yes, I was surprised by the “Senior” classification on my volunteer award. I certainly do not feel like one.

And stop asking me when I’m going to retire. I still have plenty of dances left on my card.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Copyright © 2016 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; KIT-AM (1280) in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific); and WWBA-AM (News Talk Florida 820). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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