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. Not that I will likely become invisible. I just have to hold onto my felt paradox: Grateful that I am mentally agile, curious, persistent, useful, and, aware that some parts of me are in decline. Both parts co-exist. I’m thinking that it is time for my persona, my work, my writing, my teaching, to accommodate this new space and these new compelling realities, both of which need attention.
Planning to “live with joy and meaning” is an ongoing process, no matter one’s age. Friends and readers know this to be the subject of my 2010 tome, Why Not…..? What’s new is that I “get” that I’m now “living” in my later years. And I’m eager to share that part of the journey. A new course: I’m Over 55, What Next? is one indication of the shift that is occurring. Another new program, Early Autumn Wisdom, is also on the drawing board. It is in this realm that I perhaps can make a worthy contribution, helping reflective peers and members of the boomer generation do more of what they want, and, enter the realms of third chapter aging with grace.
Yes, I’ve been cautiously entering that inevitable third chapter of life for a while now. Today, I got it. I’m actually here. And it’s OK.
I repeat, no matter our age, the question is the same: How will I make whatever period of my life as exciting, meaningful, and satisfying as I am able? If you dare to take this blog to heart and observe and take stock, here are some prompts to which I hope you will respond.
What changes may be whispering to you? Where do you seem to be heading?
How will you enjoy the “where you are now” even if you are right in the indecipherable middle of some kind of evolutionary shift?