I make an effort to spend time with super smart people. One of them, of the academic variety, encouraged me to look up the work of Erik Erikson because he created a model for aging and coined the phrase ”identity crisis.” Wow, can you imagine that!
I focused on the time frames of middle adulthood (40-60 years), old age (60-80 years) and very old age (80 and beyond).
Middle adulthood is focused on enriching the next generation and preparing for what will follow, kind of like “getting our ducks in a row.” Old age is figuring out who we are and why our lives are relevant. Hopefully, we gain a bunch of wisdom between 60 and 80.
Erik’s wife, Joan, added the ninth stage after his death. Very old age, if we play our cards right, brings us to a feeling of fulfillment and humility.
I apologize for this brief and rough introduction to Erikson’s many contributions. If you want to know more about how we all age, I recommend you read up on Erik.