I suspect that most of us move into a new stage of life with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, but I always have been a lover of change, so I was surprised to discover that I felt both a sense of melancholy and of anger when we moved into our 1970’s condominium and out of our stately old Victorian.
Wisdom at its worst is lessons learned through trials and tribulations, hopefully to not be repeated as one moves through the remainder of one’s life. Wisdom at its best is lessons learned and remembered through others’ trials and tribulations, escaping the worst of bad situations. ‘It’s easier to get older than it is to get wiser’ the worn plaque on my desk often reminds me. I have definitely gotten older but that hasn’t seemed easy. Have I really gotten wiser without ‘working’ at it?
Scientists are perpetually searching for medicine’s “Holy Grail” that can put the brakes on our aging process. This quest for immortality has been pursued since humans began to explore how our bodies operate. In fact, the very early days of the Egyptian pyramids reveal a desire to crack the code of immortality.
One of the books on my nightstand is Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper, and More Connected Life by Dr. Bill Thomas.
Dr. Thomas says a new life phase is underway for Baby Boomers. He refers to it as a “second coming of age.” This is a life beyond adulthood as we know it. He sees this as a new developmental stage of life.
Barbara Sokol died three years ago, but her legacy lives on. Barbara lived her life as a connector, a woman who was always looking for ways to put people together, just to see what would happen. And when Barbara matched people up, good things always happened. She was my mentor for how to reinvent my life after age fifty, and she never even knew it.
The weathered driftwood sign has greeted friends for over twenty years. “Welcome to the garden,” it invites. This garden, or any garden, welcomes with or without signage…color beckons, birdsongs summon, butterflies encourage my curiosity. Enter, follow, and observe bright wings on the pink burst of peony petals or the perfumed purple buddleia bush. What makes a garden a place of peaceful contemplation and healing that it often is?
Time for full blogging disclosure – my blog published last month was written nearly a year ago when we were “dallying” on our way to downsizing. Shortly after writing that it became a dash, when we purchased a condominium that came so close to meeting all of our needs that we couldn’t say no. Close to a year later I believe we have recovered from the insanity of emptying our home in 31 days. But, to help you avoid doing the same, my counsel is to start now.
If I’m spending time with you these days, it’s because you mean a lot to me. Family, friends and hobbies can fill the days of a retiree. For me, volunteer opportunities receive the same scrutiny I would apply to employment; is it worth my time – will I impact others in a positive way?
Mary Catherine Bateson names this time of life the Age of Active Wisdom. She also refers to it as Adulthood II. Bateson, author of Creating a Life Further: The Age of Active Wisdom, invites us to discover what we are really passionate about. Once we do that, she encourages us to use that passion, along with our time, talent, and skills to contribute to a more positive world.