I want to write about aging. About my experience of aging and about how I greatly suspect there are many others like me. And I want to write about other things as well.
I have returned from a glorious trip to Michigan to be with family and friends. My hope was to buy a small cottage where I could spend 2 or 3 lovely months in the summer on a small lake near my daughter and her family. I changed my mind and will instead go on the search for a larger home on the lake. It is time to reap the lush fruits of my many years of labour and to let Clo’s grand creation bring me the peace and joy of the years I have left to live in this marvellous and mysterious world. I am ready to let the home Clo and I created take care of me as I enter the last decades of my life.
I am exhausted. Aging has brought loss of vigour to my life. I stretch, I learn, I try, I push and expand……and I get tired. I feel frustrated with the need to rest when there are exciting things to do and accomplish. I have often said and written that I am a be- er and not a do-er. I can be just fine for a long while. But there always comes the time that doing feels important, even necessary, and exciting and satisfying. The doing of buying a home in Michigan is all of the above, and more, and I require time to integrate the learning curve and reset my inner timer so I can keep up.
It is quite possible all of that is not as much about age as I am wont to judge myself, but more about who it is I have been all my life. External stimulation fills me up more quickly than others who are more extroverted; and I need retreat time, meditative time, and time to integrate new and let go or move beyond status quo and out dated. For 23 + years I have written at this desk and listened when it was seasonal, to the music of the fountain outside my window. For almost 30 years I have guided and facilitated couples and families and witnessed love, despair, magic, hope, grief, loss, growth, beginnings and endings. How blessed and privileged I am.
I can do that in a lovely lake home in Michigan as well. I can move my practice and I can have an impact on a country that is in great turmoil. I am not being grandiose. In my very small and simple way, I can bring what I have learned and witnessed and offered and received for almost 3 decades from this marvellous country of Canada to my birth place and share some values and life experiences that I think could be healing and useful.
The United States needs Canadians. The US needs those of us who have lived in Canada and been taken care of, been welcomed and accepted, been integrated and integrated ourselves into a civilized and intelligent and mature society, to go home and teach, love, support, understand and suggest new possibilities for ways to learn to live in an ever- changing and ever-growing world.
The United States is having growing pains. I liken it to an out of control twenty or thirty year old who is experimenting with staying a teenager or giving up the childishness and stepping into adulthood. Maturity can take the fun out of life sometimes. But the huge fear of leaving behind the life that we have come to know and try to stretch to the world as it is coming to be has taken over in the US. Fear reigns. I think there is an unconscious fear of loosing what it is believed our founding fathers intended when they left Europe and took away the land from the natives.
Fear of change, fear that there is not enough, fear that someone else will get what I want, fear that I can not protect myself and those I love, …..fear. It takes courage to fight fear. It takes the mature courage of an adult who can make mistakes and take responsibility for those mistakes, learn from mistakes and change no longer useful ideas, values, and behaviours.
On a very small level I can possibly counter balance some of that fear. If I use my aging wisdom and experience to model values of inclusiveness, values of love and acceptance, values of listening and learning from each other and trusting that we are all well intentioned at the heart and soul of it all, maybe I can make a difference. Maybe I can suggest a different path that offers balance, harmony, hope and love.
Hmmmmm…..I am not sounding like a tired old lady to myself right now. Well, heavens to Betsy as someone in my life is often saying, maybe there is life in the old soul yet. Maybe resting, integrating, meditating, waiting, wondering, dreaming…..maybe all of that is for the good of myself and possibly even someone else. Who knows? As I gather myself to myself, open my eyes and my heart, let my blood flow and my imagination shine many wondrous plans begin to emerge.
A home on a lake near my family where I feel safe and loved and where I may or may not be able to make a difference in the country of my birth might just be the right and exactly true next step. Possibly a step that could serve to bring peace to someone other than just me. Possibly a step that could be used to support change, to encourage dialogue, to guide and facilitate harmony and balance.
At this very moment, as I am writing this, I have renewed vigour and hope for exciting change as my life moves forward. Always something else…something new….a new way of doing the old and familiar. That has been true for me throughout my adult life. Again, taking who I am and what I know and believe and moving forward into territory unknown yet somehow remembered, brings joy to my soul.
I end this session feeling loved and loving. Hugs to all. Please respond. I want to hear what you have to say about a journey newly embarked upon, still not totally clear, but absolutely intriguing.