Why Mature Adults Need To Take A Personality Test

The Guide to Manliness

I’ve been under the impression most of my life that as someone ages the more they become sure of who they are. As I’ve gotten older, I haven’t found that to be true. I have found that maturing, like every other phase of life requires me to start over again and figure out how I fit, how to function and how I can contribute.

When I started college back in the Ice Age I was required to take a personality test. I don’t remember the results and in my arrogance, I didn’t quite see the purpose. Later, in my 30’s I went back to college and was required to take another personality test. My results were surprisingly accurate. In a course I took I was required to administer and interpret personality tests for 20 different people. The results were freakishly spot on.

Since taking that course I have administered tests to many people, most of them college bound students, like I was, who needed a little direction in their new phase of life.

So, how are older adults any different? Just like the new college student, we are entering into a new chapter of adulthood. As a college student we were entering into a new phase of life, taking on new relationships, moving into a different living situation and community and so, I think, as an adult I’m not so different. I’m learning to parent adults, adjusting to new family members as an in-law and grandparent. I’m considering a new career, albeit a 2nd or 3rd one. Many of us are moving to new communities to retire, navigating health issues, losing loved ones and making new friends. Why wouldn’t it be beneficial to stop and revisit who we are at this point?

I understand that some people don’t like personality tests, I think they equate them to horoscopes or palm reading. I also think some people don’t like them because they don’t like to have “their mail read” so to speak. They find it disconcerting that a test can reveal tendencies or weaknesses about them that they are trying hard to hide or ignore. As in anything in life, if we look for the negative we will find it. If we look for the positive, we will find that, too.

I would encourage you to take a personality test as an adult. I think we can’t truly appreciate the accuracy of personality tests until we get older and can see how spot on they are. Hindsight is 20/20 you know. Taking a personality test as an adult can be very revealing and encouraging. You may find that you actually gravitated toward a career that best suited your personality type. Or that you naturally found ways to overcome your personality’s weaknesses in creative ways. You might even discover that you navigated relationships very similar to others with your personality type and did it quite well.

If you took a test as a college student you will most likely find that you are not the same type as an older adult. We have changed and adapted to our circumstances. We have been affected by life and experiences. Not only can a test help you discover who you are now but it can encourage you and affirm the person you have become.

I have found that revisiting personality tests at this point in my life, as an older adult, has been very helpful in several ways.

  1. In considering a 2nd career, volunteering and choosing how to spend my time, knowing my personality type helps me direct my work and effort in areas that are most compatible with my type. Not to say that exploration and failure can’t be good experiences, and they have been, but I want to “cut to the chase” at this point.
  2. Revisiting my personality type has given me an upper hand in navigating new family relationships and new communities. Seeing myself more clearly helps me be more authentic. Knowing other types helps me identify others, potential conflicts and potential friends.
  3. Knowing my personality type and my needs has allowed me to cut myself some slack. I find that my personality needs time alone to recharge. Knowing that gives me permission to do just that and not feel guilty about it.
  4. Not only has knowing myself allowed me to cut myself some slack but I find it easier to cut others slack, too. It’s easier for me to recognize and appreciate our differences and not be so judgmental. This is vital when navigating new relationships.
  5. Knowing myself at this point in my life gives me confidence and boldness while stepping into these new experiences. I know what I’m good at, how I can best contribute to community, and what my limitations are.

We’ve lived life, we’ve adapted, we are resilient. Our experiences have made us stronger and smarter. We’ve thrown off the weights and are looking to pursue a brighter future! And I think taking a personality test, as an adult can encourage and help us enter into this chapter will confidence and boldness.

Here are a couple of  links to some free tests, but you can also search for yourself.









Meeting With The Grim Reaper’s Secretary


It’s Not Just Me

The more I talk to people my age I realize we’re going through the very same thing. We’re dealing with sick and aging parents. We’re becoming grandparents. We’re going through menopause. And we’re getting our $%&* in order. I was laughing with a friend about someone “trying out their grave plot” by laying on it to see if it fits!

If you’ve read About Me and why I started this minimalism stuff and this blog, you’ll know that one of my goals was to “get my affairs in order.” That’s a fancy, old movie way of saying I needed to meet with the Grim Reaper’s secretary.

I’ve had 6 people in my life die in the span of a year. These were pretty close people, too. So close that I was involved in knowing whether their “affairs” were in order or not.

And I can tell you this: If you love the people who will be walking with you through an illness and perhaps your death, do them a favor and make as many decisions as you can beforehand and pay for it beforehand otherwise it’s ALL going to fall on them. It’s hard on them. They are grieving and it’s difficult to guess what you want during that time. So help them out by getting your affairs in order beforehand. 

It is not selfish to plan your funeral, in fact, it a gift you’re giving to the ones left behind! I know because I have been the one left behind and it’s miserable to try to guess at what you want. We’re worried about upsetting people and it’s so great to say to those who want to argue, “sorry, this is what they wanted.”

I put off this part of my minimalist journey for as long as I could. I decluttered, discarded, organized and blogged about everything I could before getting to this. But after I got back from my father’s funeral a few months ago, I decided to get on with it.

I’m going to tell you about what I did and if it will depress you, just move on to something else. I understand, there are days I just don’t want to talk about his stuff.

Have Conversations

The first thing I did was to try to have conversations with my husband about what he thought we should do. We had many conversations because it’s a pretty depressing topic and it would just get too heavy and so we’d go do something fun to get our minds off of it. I had this notion that we had to do the same thing. And we were not in agreement at first. He wanted to be cremated and that was not a common practice in my family. So, there was a lot of back and forth, give and take.

Since my kids are more than likely going to be the ones who handle all the arrangements, I tried to have conversations with them about how they felt about different funerals and ways families dealt with the passing of a loved one. These conversations were even more brief. They did not want to talk about my husband or me dying at all. But I kept pressing them, in small doses, until I felt like I had a pretty good idea of how they felt.

Once my husband and I came to an agreement and I had my kid’s input, which was very important to me, I moved on to research.


The Grim Reaper’s Secretary Is a Pretty Funny Guy

After all the hard conversations my husband and I came to a compromise: we are going to be cremated, our ashes scattered in the ocean but we will have a memorial marker, here where we’ve lived most of our lives, to mark a spot on the earth where we were. I also wanted it for those who might want to do family research in the future.

So, I went to the cemetery where I already have some family members and friends, a place we live near and met with the guys in the office. Once I told them what I was doing, they were relieved. They usually have to deal with people who have to have their services immediately, who are grieving and it’s just a tough job. However, since I was in good health, no big hurry and they saw I was willing to laugh about joke about such a grim subject, they seemed to enjoy themselves. We shared about our lives and told stories. I actually enjoyed hanging with those guys.

I realized that to do their job, they have to really love people and want to sincerely help them at one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. I have come to really admire people in the death business.

The guys walked me through the process. They gave me a workbook where I answered questions to help me make decisions. It’s also a book that I can keep so my kids can have the details of what we want all spelled out. It also has a step-by-step guide for them to know what to do. It also includes contact information they will need. I’m really glad to be able to leave so much help for them.

The cemetery guys helped me arrange all the details from death to burial. From how my body will be shipped to the place it will be cremated to getting the ashes to my kids to throw in the ocean.

Beach Trip! 

My husband and I were in complete agreement that we wanted to give our kids a trip to the beach when we died. As a family, we find comfort and peace at the ocean. So, we built in a trip to the beach to scatter our ashes. I researched and found out legally how it has to be done. I wrote it all out for the kids and I’m actually in the process of making sure they have access to the money to do it.

Since I’m still “young” and I don’t know where I will be or who will be involved in my life when I die, I decided I would leave planning a memorial service up to them. Since I’ve been to a lot of memorial services lately, I felt like I could offer them suggestions so I wrote down a few ideas.

*Money, money money! I thought I’d throw in this fact that the life insurance money that we’re all depending on to pay for our funerals doesn’t kick in for like 3 weeks or more after they get the death certificates. Most of the funeral arrangements have to be paid for on the spot. Who’s going to cover for it all until the insurance money comes in? Who’s credit card will it go on? Just asking. 

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

Now that I’ve decided what to do with my mortal remains, it’s time to think about my stuff.

I haven’t actually written a will yet. I’m still researching and thinking about it. All I know is that one needs to be in place.

I have heard many people say, “I don’t have much of anything to leave behind, so I don’t need a will. My kids and grandkids can have whatever they want. It will be fine.” Can I just say that is foolishness and you are setting your family up for conflict.

You can not know how you’re going to feel about a loved one’s possessions until after they’ve died. Stuff you thought you didn’t care about take on enormous importance after death. 

Even the smallest thing can come to mean a great deal. So, if you own anything, a house, a car, have a bank account and furniture, you need to detail what you want done with the stuff!

Let me give you a couple of examples of how conflicts can arise over stuff:

Let’s say that I die and I own a car. It might not be worth more than a couple thousand dollars. What happens to the car? You might say, “your kids get it.” Ok, which kid? I have two. You might say, “the one who needs it.” What if both need it? What if one needs it, then the other one gets nothing from the car? How will the kid who gets nothing feel? Ok, you say, “then sell it and have them split the money.” Who will take on the chore of selling it?

Do you see what I’m saying? Think about your jewelry, family photographs or a tool collection. How are the kids going to sort that out? You can help them by spelling out who gets what. You’ll save them the conflict and stress of having to sort it all out. Or better yet, go ahead and declutter and give them the stuff now!

Here’s another one. True story. I saw this happen in a family.

So the mother dies. The father moves into a different house. He decides to get rid of the family furniture because it can’t fit in his new place but doesn’t offer it to the children because it’s his furniture now and he just doesn’t think about the sentimental value. A daughter-in-law ends up with a table from the family furniture. She saves it from being sent to a thrift shop and since she thinks it’s just thrift store junk so she has no respect for it and allows her children to draw on it and tear it up. One of the deceased mother’s children come for a visit to the daughter-in-law’s house. She sees the table and breaks down in tears. She knew how much the mother loved the table. She has memories of sitting at the table as a child and enjoying times with her mother around that table. She doesn’t feel like she can say anything and she doesn’t want to start an argument, but she is so crushed with the father for not allowing her to have the table and hurt with the daughter-in-law for having no respect for the family heirlooms she never goes back to the daughter-in-law’s house again. There was a big breach in the family over a little table.

So, you just never know how you will feel when a loved one dies and you’ll never know how people will feel about your stuff when you die. My plan is to go ahead and decide.

Let me encourage you to go ahead and meet with the Grim Reaper’s secretary. Make the plans for your mortal remains. Then get on with deciding what will happen with your stuff. I’m telling you, after going through this many, many times you will be giving the best gift you can imagine to your family and friends!

Ok, I’m off to working on my will. I’ll let you know how that goes.








I Will Never ____________!

A truth universally known:

Whoever says, “I will never____________!” is doomed to do that very thing.


I am living that statement right now.

I said that when I got older I would NEVER sit around and talk about my aches, pains and illnesses. I always thought it was morose and boring. I promised that I would never do it but I did just that yesterday with a clutch of people my age.

Why? Why did I break the promise to myself you ask? Because I didn’t know then what I know now!

Let me help you, all my young readers, to understand why old people talk about their aches and pains and illnesses…

We are shocked!

old person quote

We never imagined and cannot believe that just reaching across a desk to pick up a book could mess your back up so bad that you’re down for 2 weeks!!

We are freaking out because our bodies don’t work like they used to!

We still feel in our minds like we did when we were 18 but we’re living in these aging bodies and it’s freaking us out!

We’re a little worried about doing normal things because you just don’t know when your body will rebel and rise up against you. Like one day your knee may decide not to bear your weight. One day you’ll reach down to pick something up and your hip will “twang” and you’ll be limping for weeks.

When we talk about our aches and pains and stuff we’re not saying it to tell everyone in earshot, we’re saying it like, “Can you believe this crap? I was getting up out of the chair and my knee gave out and I can’t walk on it!! What the freak is going on here??

Not only do they not work like they used to, they don’t LOOK like they used to and we’re not sure how to dress it or deal with it. Let me tell you, young people, one day you’re going to look in the mirror and everything that was high and tight will be low and loose. Like in ONE DAY it will happen!

Let me also tell you, to be totally honest, hair will stop growing in places and then begin growing in places that you wished it wouldn’t. Wrinkles will appear on everything, like in one day! Age spots, gray hair will appear and you’ll say, “Who is this old person staring back at me in the mirror?”

I’m telling you, it’s a crazy experience! And we talk about it because we cannot believe it is happening and it’s so weird that our bodies don’t work like they used to. We can’t believe we are now the “old people.” It happened so fast and all we were doing was living.

I’m a grandmother! Totally freaking me out that I am that old and someone would call me their grandmother. Never, ever thought I’d be here, doing this.

It’s a crazy life.

Beware, never say never!