Her Legacy Lives…

I am the eldest daughter of Betty Johnson.  I live at Providence Place, a senior residence in Holyoke, MA.  I recently learned that one of our new arrivals had lived and raised her family in the neighboring town of South Hadley, my home town.

My mother, the physical educator, had taught her children to jump rope in elementary school. In fact, as the force of nature my mother was, she had the whole town jumping rope, something her students remember to this day.

It was a total “kick” listening to my new neighbor tell me about the reaction of her son when she shared that she was living in a community with Mrs. Johnson’s daughter.   After 50 years, my mother’s legacy lives on, just because of who she was.  Her lifelong passion to keep people healthy, moving,  and having fun, left an indelible mark on the individual lives she touched.  (And, this is not the first person from whom I’ve heard a similar story.)

Now, at 77, I’m aware that my remaining days are numbered.  What will be my legacy?   I still have things I want to do.  To the extent that they’ll ripple out, I have no idea.  What about you?

What’s your later-in-life passion and how do you want to share it?

Better yet, what’s your intention and how do you intend to live it?

I’m planning to age gracefully,  die well and help others do the same… meaning not leave a mess for my survivors.  I want to write and publish two books that reside in my soul. I want to fill my days with nourishing activities, such that as I age,  I remain a cheerful companion to friends and family.

Who knows what my “legacy” will be?  Whether I am remembered for them or not, I’m content with what I deem as worthy ways to be in the world for my remaining days.

How about you?


Thoughts for our times

Sometimes an unexpected and spontaneous “initiation” to the next stage of life looks…well…pretty ugly. Particularly when that’s not the name you are able to give it in the moment. Nevertheless, take time to breathe, grieve, pause, allow, and be curious.  It’s possible that that another part of the you that seeks to be known and loved, is struggling to arrive. Make space for it.

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone.  The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.  To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.             CYNTHIA OCCELLI


A sacred illness is one that educates us and alters us from the inside out, provides experiences  and knowledge that  we could not possible achieve in any other way.         DEENA METZGER

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.            HOWARD THURMAN

During your third chapter years, or at any time that these questions resonate with you:  What do you need to learn? What do you wish to let go of?   What makes you come most alive?  And,  will you dare to explore that?

Start the New Year Wise


Beware of rushing into the “new” too fast. Resolutions, intentions, bucket lists can wait a bit. Although December is the ostensible “ending” month of our annual cycle, and January the generally accepted “beginning,” dare to take your time. December inaugurates winter,  time to hibernate and contemplate and savor our experiences of 2016. Pause to honor the past 12 months and allow clarity about what’s really calling to you for the next several years to emerge slowly.

1.Take time for Review and Reflection

  • In 2016, what has pleased you? Accomplishments? Breakthroughs? Courageous experiments? The way you handled challenges?
  • What have been your disappointments? Losses? Endings? The challenges you didn’t handle so well?
  • What have been your lessons? Your hopes? Your dreams?

2.  Take time to go deeper

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