Yesterday I received a heartfelt appreciation in a short email from a woman I haven’t seen for at least 15 years. It touched me deeply to learn that the several years of our interactions back 25 years ago had changed her life. And it moved me that she cared enough to reach across the years to let me know.
As a now 74-year old woman in the midst of my “third chapter”, I find myself slightly embarrassed to admit that as I’m reviewing my life and the body of my work, I find myself pondering two questions: Did it really matter that I was here? And, for the future, what is my unlived life demanding of me?
My friend’s note helped me answer the first question. It also reinvigorated the courage, confidence and creativity to craft my answer to the second.
Given that she brought the power and ripple effect of appreciation to my attention, I’ll be following her lead with those who have contributed to my life.
And, take this opportunity to also encourage you to take a moment, many moments, to appreciate parents, children, co-workers, friends, even the serendipitous strangers we encounter, for their specific contributions to your life.
In our very individualistic culture, sometimes it’s good to remind ourselves that we never really travel this path alone. As someone else said to me recently: Life is not a “do-it-yourself project.”
This interesting notion popped into my awareness this morning. I’m changing. Definitely getting older. And getting slower. On Sunday last, I whacked my right calf requiring 10 special stitches early Monday, also requiring that I temporarily avoid the exercise that keeps me going–swimming. If that wasn’t enough, two days ago, I had surgery for a very costly dental implant which takes about 3 months for full healing.
In my mind I have always felt healthy and energetic, despite the diagnosis of MS in 1997. That personal construct of good health will always be part of me. I have good genes. My mother was active until her blessed end at 90. So, with my inherited healthy and active mindset, I enrolled in a short 8-week “business boot camp” which started yesterday. Hmmm. Hmmm. What did I do?
Today, I’m noticing that my mind is also ready to permanently accommodate the circumstances of aging, mostly by not expecting too much of myself. Continue reading
Clearly I’m beating the drum here in this third post on the issue of “life” planning as it affects the very much later years. I do admit, I’ve been walking my way into new terrain, contemplating and anticipating my old/old years, and musing about my journey in public space.
Life planning for the over 60 crowd is still planning for the “life” we want and hope to have. Although I once assumed that “death” didn’t ever need to be part of my planning portfolio as it was way too far off, I’m clearly finding the idea to have become less of an abstraction. Our dying, my dying, deserves some serious and practical attention. Continue reading