I set out for a walk this morning to enjoy a bit of coffee. The sun shone brilliantly and the air spoke a word of humidity as I chugged along my path. The birdsong and the scent of flowers and greenery sent me back to my childhood. I smiled as I joyfully recalled being a kid, finding it too hot and yet delighted to be in the moment.
I challenge myself everyday to do just that—be in the moment. At the same time, I mentally crank out to-do lists and projects and challenges. For instance, I’ve written some variation of this blog in my mind for several weeks and then fail to bring it to the screen. Then I go on to ponder and fret about family and future life. I am awoken from this mental gymnastic as a bird sings its love song and I am brought back to the moment.
In these reveries I have realized and accepted certain realities:
- My children are all adults, living adult lives and making adult decisions. I have little or no sway or say in these choices anymore. This is a freeing realization, yet, my fear is that they will not want my engagement and I will turn into the potted plant in the corner. I don’t think this is true, but from time to time, this fear raises its voice and disturbs my inner peace. I am trying to dialogue with this weird thought and allow it to remind me to be more loving and attentive with my Mom and Mom-in-law as they age.
- My husband and I will be celebrating 40 years of marriage in about a month. Tom is an incredible person and I am blessed among women to share this life with him. We have so much joy in the simple and the daily. I need to stop myself as I realize that a day will come when we will be parted by death. I attempt to dialogue with this voice as I observe my elderly parishioners who have become widows/widowers and who deal with the nasties of aging—physical despair and failing minds. I take these folks and their lives to heart as I strive to cherish every moment of relative health and freedom as Tom and I age together.
- Tom “graduated” from a forty-year teaching/campus ministry career this June. We have been ritually honoring and celebrating this new place in life in a great many ways. While he continues to work full time for the family auto repair business and will not cut back for a few years, this move definitely makes changes for us and brings the future of our aging into a new focus. I dialogue with this realization that I am in my sixties, I am looking more that age range, and my body is starting to slow a bit. I try to look ahead to imagine a decade or two of travel, simple pleasures around town, time with children and grands, and lots of time for creativity. The voice that sneaks into that dialogue likes to shake my joy with thoughts of health gone bad, or finances that allow little leisure. I stay with these thoughts and voices and then urge myself back into the present moment to keep my head in the game, and appreciate this time to plan and prepare.
I suppose that I am not unlike many in my generation in exploring these new reveries, realities and realizations. I do hope to let them into my space, continue to dialogue with them, grow through these mental discussions, and continue to live with joy and integrity. How about you? What life realizations are you experiencing, whatever your age and station may be?
Next month…some Fall feathering thoughts!