Perspective changes over time. The view I had of the world as a child, as an adult and now in retirement has changed. True, there are some basic core beliefs that have remained unchanged, but time does sand the wood block of our minds. If I divide my life into the rough three period of under twenty, twenty to fifty-five and over fifty-five, there are defining events that dictate the overriding perspective I held at each period. The first period was growing up. In the second period I was an adult getting married, raising children, pursuing a career. In the third period change is taking place once again. The kids are gone, off establishing their own lives, and I have retired into writing.
So how do some simple concepts look through the same pair of eyes from each of these three different perspectives of time and age? Take a home. As a child we lived in the same place all my growing up years. It was the base. It was just there, and I didn’t question it. As an adult it was up to my wife and me to make it happen. We lived in two apartments and two houses. What has been common with my youth is to keep it as a base. But now in the third stage, I have a different perspective about our home. After thinking we would never leave Boulder, Colorado, we moved last June to Lakewood, California to help with child care for our grandson born in June.
School is another activity that I’ve had very different perspectives on during the three stages. In stage one I was attending. It was something I was expected to do and did. It was the center of my life except when escaping during the summer. It was my job. On the whole I enjoyed school. It was the focal point for achievement and preparation for the future.
In stage two school became where my children lived. I went to teacher conferences, plays, concerts and sporting events there. I helped out periodically. Then I got into teaching at the University of Colorado. This was a chance to give back and also learn from the students. School in this stage was something I either observed or conducted.
In stage three I went back to school taking a fiction writing class for two semesters. The University of Colorado let’s residents audit courses for free if they are over fifty-five and get the instructor’s permission. I enjoyed being back and learning and this helped launch my writing career. So elements of my perspective have changed over time as I’ve developed more life experience to play upon, but there remains the continuity of essential core values.