Someone pointed out to me yesterday that I am in the eighth stage of Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development. This was news to me as I hadn’t heard of it before. I didn’t think you could get better than the Bristol Stool Scale in terms of medical scales. I’m not actually sure that you can. I wasn’t, from considerations of good taste, going to add a link to the stool scale (it’s not about making furniture, just in case you were wondering) but when I found this my resolve crumbled. Julia came racing through to see if I was in pain, but I was just trying to contain my laughter. Whoever posted it has less good taste than I have, and probably a looser connection to sanity too.
Anyway, back to the serious stuff. I am now in Erikson’s 8th stage of development, which is the last stage. That is a worry even before I start looking into it. It’s subtitled Integrity v Despair.
This is not a lot of use in understanding it, and reading more about it, one commentator opined that to do well in stage 8 you needed to have started preparing in middle age. The whole point, of course, is that I am currently regretting a wasted life and and my inability to go back and change it. Telling me that to feel better about my current life I should have done some things differently twenty years ago is both obvious and useless. I haven’t read Erikson’s original work as I don’t do well with academic papers, so it’s possible that he was more insightful.
Anyway, the outcome is that I can’t change things, and am not on my own with these feelings. Or, to put it another way, there’s no point worrying. As I already knew this, I just wasted a couple of hours reading internet articles.
However, put on a scale that runs from the Kardashians to the Meaning of Life,I feel I could have done worse. Two hours on psychology, an hour and a half on poetry (improving my tanka skills), with diversions into the Ukraine, bowels and baking have not been a complete waste, and I still have plans for the future, even if that future does feature an abrupt conclusion when I reach the end of stage 8 and fall off.
Photos are from April 2020. Not sure why now, probably some that were sent to Julia for Mother’s Day.