With this first post of the 2015 New Year, on my 75th birthday, I signal a shift.
Rereading what I’ve been posting throughout 2012 – 2014 on my three sites looking through the lens of a solo-ager living partway through the third chapter of life (60 – 90+), I’m noticing what’s been calling to me over these last years.
And then BOOM, several months ago, it finally became clear enough to share.
I want to more consciously shine the light on this final journey we’re all on, whether or not we choose to be aware of it. I want to learn from my own perspectives, discoveries, and needs, as well as those of others. I want to share about what seems to be important as we travel this path. I want to encourage thinking about each life as a legacy. As I personally navigate the dilemmas and delights inherent in the remaining years of my journey, most of which I never anticipated, I want to put them on the radar screen of those in their early 60’s who are just entering this chapter.
This ongoing shift into my own awareness of aging, really accelerated when my brother died unexpectedly in February 2014 at 68. Not only did I “get” at a visceral level that I, too, will die. I started obsessing about, “Now, how am I going to live?” Thinking about how to be creatively present during my remaining years I’m finding to be a joyful, hopeful, challenging, and really fun place. What else it there to do but to plan to live fully and age gracefully? Likely that my websites will start their slow process of migrating and consolidating toward this new compelling exploration of how to live well to the end. A tentative book title emerged yesterday: Navigating Your Later Years ….for those who know they will die, and intend to live well all the way to the end.
My real message is this: For those entering your third chapter or currently living through it, be open to the possibility that you do know what remains for you to do. Listen to what you really love and take it seriously. Listen for any earlier dreams that are calling to be revisited. Listen for the regrets you still have time to rectify. Listen for what really matters to you.
You only have one life and sooner or later, it will end.
In the meantime, nothing is more thrilling, nor more worth your time, than listening, and paying attention to what is calling to you, and starting to do something about it.