It’s amazing how conversations go.
Every Monday evening, a small group of us, all 80 plus, gather to make sure we’re not leaving a “mess” to the next generation at our passing. One evening, as we raised our questions and shared information on our progress, the conversation meandered to new queries invading our aging existence.
It’s fall. Time to pack up the summer wardrobe and bring out the winter one. One of our members found herself pondering, “Will this be the last time I’ll do this? Will I be the one who is pulling these summer clothes back out next year?”
And I’m asking myself new questions as well. Whenever I enter a new location I ask, “Is there a bathroom nearby?” I’m now questioning activities I used to take for granted. Do I have the energy to go to a favorite concert, driving an hour and not getting lost?” Can I still drive safely at night? So far it’s yes, EXCEPT if it is raining.
I am grateful to be with a group of friends, reflecting on life and death, and sharing the tasks and questions that arise in later life. That is something I’m NOT willing to let go of…
What life questions are invading your life these days?
And with whom do you share?
It’s been 4 months since I’ve posted. Another transition in the works.
Several good friends died. And I entered another “life stage/ phase/whatever” more aware of the losses associated with the aging condition. Not so much fun, but life does go on and delivers up the space for healing, and whatever is next that forces introspection, review and figuring out. But, as usual, when I return to sorting, something pops up to help me gain perspective…in this case the wisdom of Jonathan Field about “that in-between space.”
“We tend to look at the in-between space as the place we least want to be. And, yes, I know, when it lasts too long, when lingering in it becomes living in it, that’s not a great place to be.
“But here’s the thing. The in-between, viewed a bit differently, is maybe the single most fertile ground life offers us. If, we’re open to the experience and invitation.
“It’s a delicate balance for sure. End of the day, the in-between is neither good, nor bad.
“It’s how we use it that makes it one or the other.
SO, IN WHAT SPACE ARE YOU THESE DAYS? And is it worth some time to stop and reflect?
My goodness!!! My last post was written about 9 months ago. And the previous one 9 months before that! Definitely the world has been changing along with my life. Now 83, I’m noticing how many folks have been dying around me, including recently, my very dearest friend. Fortunately, many of us are managing to “keep going” figuring out what’s next, during very tough times. I’m glad about that.
This morning I felt compelled to write. So here I am.
At the YMCA yesterday I ran into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen since before Co-Vid. Patrick was an avid mountain climber and determined to keep himself in shape for his favorite pastime. So committed was he that for years he and his buddies selected climbing challenges across our nation, from Denali to Katahdin. In fact, many years ago he inspired me so much that I wrote a blog about his “doing what he loved”. (My regular YMCA visits have provided illustration of the life giving purpose that nourishes me. I meet so many who care about and act upon their commitments and passions.)
My quick hello to Patrick was followed by my question, “Are you still climbing?” And he launched into how he was preparing for this year’s 2023 challenge. And then he noted in an almost whispered aside, “but I’m getting older. I just turned 70,”
Yes, at 83, I know the drill. Decline is noticed, and dreams and activities get adjusted. But choosing to keep going keeping going, at whatever feeds our souls, is always available. And he was visible proof of that!
It gave me a lift.
NEWS FLASH! Why Not Do What You Love is being updated and republished as we speak. Unlike the initial version, this one wlll at least mention “age”.