There Is No Map

Whew, boy!! It has been a while since I have written. About time I put on paper what is whirling around in my head.

Aging!  Aging and sexuality!!!  Seems to be coming up in my life, my professional life and my personal life. Women friends are sharing their pain, angst, sorrow, hope, joy, and certainly their bewilderment. Clients are grieving the loss of lovers and partners they have been with for decades.

Once again….THERE IS NO MAP

What does it mean to be 60, 70, 80, 90 and want a partner?

Certainly companionship is one very important thing we universally hope for: Someone to laugh with, with whom we can process life and feelings, hopes and dreams, maybe a fellow travelling friend, maybe someone to share concerts, grandchildren, gardening, fixing up projects around the house. Someone to sit with quietly and read a book or share a meal, listen to music or play a card or board game. Scrabble seems big for many people. My family is all about Euchre.

But for some of my friends that definitely is NOT enough. That suggests we take a look at our aging bodies. I don’t know about you, but I have never really been able to come to a love relationship with my own body. I certainly appreciate the absolutely amazing things it has done over the decades, not the least of which is give birth to 4 babies. However, I have just said two very significant things here: decades and gave birth. That picture does not make for the most stunning physical presentation on the planet.

And then there is the body of the other. That body also has had a life time to change and morph into something other than what is was at 30 or even 40. And then we come to hormones, to our belief and values about being sexually active. How does that change with age?  Lots of questions. No real answers, but definitely something important to think about because every single one of us is going to face their own style of aging.

There are a lot of us facing the question of how to age happily, gracefully, with dignity and respect. How to have fun, embrace the joys of aging and take advantage of more time to be socially available, more information and possibilities than ever before for those of us growing older. Who knew when we were in our 40’s about a cruise on the Danube with many our own age? Who knew about having to struggle with quality of each day of our lives when we had children, jobs, more training, big house, yards, and more to struggle with instead?

What I see again and again, in friends, colleagues, clients and myself, is a significant lessening of hormonal drive, a significant holding steady of desire for intimacy and opportunity to fill our days of freedom happily, with joy and with satisfaction. Without a doubt it can be done.

I know I do not want to feel isolated. I also know I do NOT suffer fools lightly. I tend to walk out when I get bored or annoyed. I really don’t feel fussed about doing that. Good for me. I have the courage and wisdom to leave what doesn’t feed me. Do I have the courage and wisdom to find what does? Do you?

Let’s talk about the courage it takes to accept our age. Not only accept, but embrace. The truth of the matter is we have never been so wise, so informed, so available, so free. Now is the time to harvest the crop we planted decades ago when we began the journey of adulthood. Now is the time we can share a depth of spirit and knowledge and curiosity we had no time to ponder in the past.

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