Embracing the Emotional Time Journey of Aging

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I recently got to drive in a new Lincoln Navigator. What a sweet ride and vehicle. The owners had their previous car for over a decade and did not plan to get a new one. Unfortunately, thinking they had another 5 years on their BMW, it suffered a major engine malfunction.

Sitting in the front passenger’s seat of the Navigator, I felt like I was on the bridge of the Star Ship Enterprise from Star Trek.

The dashboard of a 2024 Lincoln Navigator

As I was complimenting the husband on their choice of vehicle, what he said next surprised me. “We’ve always purchased our cars with an attitude that we will keep them until they breakdown, and we can’t use them anymore. Therefore, this will probably be my wife’s last car before she dies.” Retired and in her late sixties, I felt like pushing back a bit, but if they keep this car fifteen plus years, that could be a reality.

Navigating (pun intended) through the different stages of life, one often overlooked aspect is the need to adapt our approach to time and our use of it. The way we utilize and think about time must evolve alongside our changing circumstances, priorities, and environmental landscapes. Failing to consider the emotional and psychological adjustments required in how we use our time as we age, can lead to a profound sense of imbalance and dissatisfaction. Sensing the finality of something as specific as buying a car can be an ordeal.

Therefore, own the limits and craft a healthy approach to time as you age.

Download chapter 1 and start optimizing not reacting. Get it here.

Shifting Priorities

 With each passing decade, our priorities naturally shift. The ambitions and goals that once consumed our every waking moment may gradually give way to new aspirations or a desire for a more balanced lifestyle. Neglecting to realign our time investment with these changing priorities can breed frustration and a sense of stagnation. The type of vehicle you purchase in your 20’s is going to be much different that your 60’s.

Emotional Wellbeing

The various life transitions we encounter, such as parenthood, career changes, or the loss of loved ones, can profoundly impact our emotional state. Failing to allocate time for self-care, reflection, and emotional processing during these pivotal moments can lead to burnout, emotional exhaustion, and a diminished sense of overall well-being. A vehicle in your 20’s might be more about performance and style, while a car in your 60’s could be more about functionality and purpose.

Physiological Changes

Let me insert my disclaimer, I am not a phycologist nor am I a medical professional. Having said that, our bodies age, energy levels drop, physical capabilities diminish, so that our health needs must evolve. Ignoring these physiological changes and continuing to approach time management as we did in our youth can be counterproductive and potentially detrimental to our overall health and quality of life. An automobile in your 20’s could reflect speed and design, whereas in the 60’s you will be more about comfort and safety.

Redefining Success

Our perception of success often undergoes a transformation as we mature. While professional accomplishments may have once been the sole measure of achievement, we may find ourselves seeking fulfillment in different facets of life, such as personal growth, meaningful relationships, or contributing to a greater cause. Failing to realign our time investment with this redefined notion of success can leave us feeling unfulfilled. In your 20’s it’s a sports car, in your 60’s it’s a a sedan.

Legacy and Purpose

As we approach the later stages of life, many individuals begin to contemplate their legacy and seek a deeper sense of purpose. Neglecting to allocate time for introspection, spiritual exploration, and fostering meaningful connections can lead to a sense of emptiness and a lack of fulfillment. Do you want to own a car that does not serve your intentions in life?

Yes, I know a car is not the defining symbol that will define us as we age. But just as your needs in life will change, so will there be a natural extension of the auto you will use. Do you want your life to be chasing after small high-performance cars to try and connect you back to your youth? Or, do you want to have a vehicle that reflects your modern view of the world that will meet your needs for a long time?

Embrace your emotional needs, the changes in you as a person, redefining what success means to you, and craft your purpose to create your legacy. No matter what car you drive, you will always be in the drivers seat.

Purchase the Time-Optimized Life book from your favorite book-seller today.

David Buck is the author of the book “The Time-Optimized Life, owner of Kairos Management Solutions, LLC, and founder of the Infinity Lifestyle Design program. As a Certified Professional Retirement Coach (CPRC), David works with financial services providers helping their clients create a post-career lifestyle strategy. To learn more, contact him at dave@kmstime.com or visit Infinity Lifestyle Design.

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