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“I am 13!” I explained. My grandson responded, “No you’re not. You’re old!
Of course, he was being teased but refused to take my bait. There is some truth to that fib, however.

My tree rings now number 67, which caused me to pause and reflect.

Who I Am Now

  • I am wise. Native people honor and listen to a council of their elders, so it feels nice to have that status.
  • I am experienced. I believe there is no situation which I have not been a part of, which helps me to navigate the challenges that come with each new day.
  • I am alive. Each year, the world loses many who were born in 1952. As I approach the top of the diminishing pyramid, I am grateful each day. I refuse to take living for granted.
  • I am blessed. There are so many assets that I have, way too many to list here. They range from fantastic, talented children, healthy and amazing grandchildren, a comfortable home with community, thriving business, good health, and a strong, vibrant 40+ plus year marriage to my best friend.

Those thoughts are from the point of view of a grownup who just turned 67. However…

Who I Was Then

The 13-year old me is often full of angst. At times I feel like a youth in transition who wants to be treated as an adult yet is under his parent’s control. I know this sounds weird, and I feel this way.

At times I feel…

  • like I need to ask for permission to do things. (Whose approval?)
  • like I want to be invited to the adult’s table. (But I am already there!)
  • like the other shoe is about to drop. (Why do I expect bad news at any moment?)
  • like I am not recognized for my talents. (Why do I forget my accomplishments and credentials?)
  • like I don’t count. (Remember when no one listened to you?)
  • like I am lacking. (Am I not worthy of my blessings and accomplishments?)

Should I be feeling complete? “We are all works in process.” If this is true (and I suspect it is) I guess I am still working on me and who I am to be.

Am I only one that feels this way? Competent one moment and less than able in another? I think not. I hope not.

What I Do Know

I know for sure that on this 66th anniversary of my birth, I am alive yet not fully integrated. I know for sure that I am confident most of the time and yet lose that assurance often. I know for sure that my 13-year child’s feelings count yet they do not define the adult me.

I Appreciate You

Above all, I feel grateful that I have a public platform via this blog and that you are reading my thoughts. Your connection to me matters. I am honored and feel humble. Thank You!

Like wine, some people get better with age. Is there a difference between a wine that is 13 years old vs. one that is aged 67 years? How would I know? I know nothing about wine! (sorry. At times I lose focus…)

Do you feel complete? Maybe we are not supposed to feel this way. Feeling like an unfinished home remodeling project is a pain! But this feeling gives me hope and something to look forward to.

I invite your response.


Ron Rael Leadership Provocateur, is a keynote speaker, consultant, and author.

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