At 75, I find my thoughts coalescing around a basic question I’m now hearing from so many folks who are on either side of sixty. That question is, “What do I do now?” It acknowledges a deep recognition that a major life change is here, or at least around the corner. At some point, more than likely at 55, 60, or 65, you will glimpse into the future and have the visceral epiphany that your life is actually finite. You accept that you will not be around forever, and, in the meantime, you’ve been granted some bonus years you didn’t expect.
All of a sudden the years of your life forward become a precious resource. You don’t want to waste them, and, there is no roadmap!
While I can’t provide THE ROADMAP for anyone but myself, it seems to me that there is one way to move into the terrain of these third chapter years and start creating your own path forward. And that is to articulate for yourself three intentions:
–I want to live fully and consciously.
–I want to age gracefully–into vibrant elderhood
–I want to befriend the notion of my ultimate passing and prepare for a peaceful end-of-life.
The challenge is to then ask: What do each of those intentions actually mean to me? What might they actually look like in real time? Consider:
- Each of those intentions will mean different things to different folks, and entail different activities and tasks. As an example, everyone’s bucket list, and everyone’s specific goals are unique.
- Each of those intentions will likely shift and mean something different to you as you move along the path from 60 – 90. You’ll learn as you go.
- Thus, I dare to add that each of those intentions will need to be revisited, reviewed, and updated quite regularly, if you are willing to keep learning, and stay current with your desire for a full life all the way to the end.
As a start, what I can guarantee is this:
Probing each of those intentions for yourself will invite challenge, fun, temporary distress, and personal growing.
It is easier to grapple with important ideas through a balance of personal reflection in solitude, and thoughtful conversation with a supportive like minded group. In any case, it does take an investment of time.
For the seekers among you, the process will teach you more about what your life is meant to be, and how to create it and live it.
Best wishes on the journey…and there’s more to come!