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Even Seniors Can Climb the Ladder of Life

August 29, 2012
No Diet 4 Me
I've been reading "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Steven Covey.

He makes an analogy at one point about climbing the ladder of life only to find out that the ladder is against the wrong wall.

Many of older folk have "been there, done that", but, because of obligations, the fear of starting over, or plain ol' stubborness, we kept on climbing, but with the knowledge that we no longer enjoyed the climb...if we ever had in the first place. Some few made the decision to change to another ladder, and hopefully they picked the right one at that time. Back in those days, for most of us, whichever ladder we chose, there were still, bills, health, whatever.

It's hard to change ladders at almost any stage of life...except in our senior years.

Once we reach the point where we no longer have to raise kids, earn whopping paychecks, buy and maintain a home, we can look around and decide that maybe the ladder we've been on all our lives wasn't the right one. If that is so, we can pick another one.

For example, years ago I got a degree in accounting, worked as one and moved on. I became a career soldier in the U.S. Army. After that, I still had ladders to climb, but I still had obligations, so I looked for ladders that would lead me to "success". It was a struggle to climb the ladders I chose, because I was getting older and many of my skills and experiences did not immediately translate well.

So, like so many others, I struggled on, trying to enjoy what I was doing, but never really doing what I enjoyed.

Now, I am 67 years old and retired. I don't NEED anything in the way of income or success, although I am not rich and still live on a fixed income just like many other retirees.

Looking around, I find that my local community college will allow me to audit courses for free. I find also that they offer a curriculum in broadcast journalism. This is a field that I have desired to find a way into for years. It is a ladder that I will enjoy climbing. I don't need to make money at it, but, if I do, so much the better.

No stress to climb this ladder.  Also, by keeping my mind active and remaining in contact with intelligent minds, I am helping to keep myself younger.

At this point in our lives, there are very few ladders which are closed to us because of income or obligation, though some may be closed because of our age...the army won't let me back in.  Other than situations like that, the world is pretty much open to us. I am reminded of the words from Mary Poppins:

"Now, as the ladder of life 'as been strung
 You might think a sweep's on the bottommost rung
Though I spends me time in the ashes and smoke
In this 'ole wide world there's no 'appier bloke.."


Donovan Baldwin is a 67 year old fitness fan and freelance writer. He is retired from the U.S. Army after 21 years of service. A graduate of the University of West Florida (BA Accounting 1973), he now enjoys studying and blogging about issues relevant to senior health and fitness. You can view his blog at
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Donovan Baldwin is a freelance writer currently living in the Dallas - Fort Worth area. He is a University Of West Florida alumnus (1973) with a BA in accounting. He is a past member of Mensa and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, and has held several managerial positions while in the military and in civilian life. After retiring from the U. S. Army in 1995, he became interested in Internet marketing and developed various online businesses. He has been writing poetry, articles, and essays for over 40 years, and now frequently publishes articles on his own websites and for use by other webmasters. He has a website on health, fitness, diet, and weight loss at .

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