The quality of a life is defined not by its length, but by its depth, its actions and achievements. –Ann Patchett, best-selling author of Bel Canto and six other novels-
People often tell me they have no idea what they want to do or even where they want to live for the last half of third of their life. Not a clue, they say.
I don’t believe this is the truth.
Contemplate you-growing-old-with-a-life-to-live for ten minutes -write down something or don’t. Some of what you want and more of what you don’t want will be identified.
Work eighty hours a week? No.
Work at something I hate? Never.
Start a new business? Maybe.
Make time for more fly fishing? Absolutely.
Babysit my grandchildren? Uncertain.
Live in Chile? Big no.
Okay, so now we’re getting somewhere – a skeletal beginning for sure – but you can identify a few things after all.
The next biggest mistake people make (after telling the lie that they don’t have any idea what they want their life to be) is presuming they should know.
How many of us have a subtle and complex understanding of being older until we are older ourselves? How can you know what you want- or what’s good for you – at 50, 60 or 70 when you’re not there yet? (more…)
Being a grandparent is one of my new selves – a role never wished for, prayed about or necessary for my wellbeing.
At least that’s how I summed up the role prior to the arrival of this naked-butt cherub above. Life offers up surprises at any age. Liam is one of mine.
Yes, I glow in his presence! I especially love my time alone with him to learn and do and be.
Right now, he returns the glow, and I’d like to keep it that way. His new mind maps images and his ears tune to language – and soon, I’ll be labeled “old person.” That’s okay with me.
All of us blessed with an “old person” – Grandpa T, old aunt Phoebe, a doozy of a neighbor, or a preacher man Elmer – to mold our thinking and ease life’s swirling waters know a contribution was made to our lives to exceed all expectations. We probably didn’t realize how extraordinary and commanding this connection would affect us.
So, I ask myself:
1. How might I live my life well – true to me – yet model a life worth living to a child?
2. How do I ensure my grandson has no reason to impose dreadful indictments associated with old age upon me?
For sure, I’ll ponder #1 for the rest of my life.
But #2 got me thinking. Soon Liam will string together sentences, and his observations will be astute, unprompted and … judgmental.
Mid-life is a fixed idea most of us hold onto far too long.
The reality is that in our late fifties we are nearly 2/3rds done. From 50 to 80, years can collapse. Months disappear.
I have a simple purpose in this blog – to influence our future in the very way we hold a conversation about the last third of life.
A great measure of maturity is truly understanding that we move through our lives in a blink of an eye.
Never mind any actions you choose to take or neglect to take. You may choose to plot yourself forward to a grand place or you may let life happen to you.
Let’s just talk.
Life is a story with a beginning and an end. An inventive life post50 begins with your truth about what you want. Best friends forever often