Ever have those synchronistic moments in your life…you have something on your mind and then it seems like the subject just pops up everywhere? Well that’s been the case for me these past few months. You see I’m heading towards one of those milestone birthdays. Yep, the big 6-0 come November. Let’s just say that heading into this era has been heavily on my mind. Not that aging scares me (well perhaps a little) but I have so much that I want to see and do and it seems like such little time is left! I know some may say…oh, but 70’s are wonderful years too! Well I’m sure they are…but my perspective is that I see my 60’s as years to do the physical things that perhaps my 70’s may not allow…like heading down the Rio Coco. I doubt very seriously if I could do that trip in my 70’s. It also doesn’t help to have a friend just a few months ago pass away at 58 with pancreatic cancer. That really had an impact…not to mention seeing the aging process up close and personal with my mom. So I want to live life now knowing anything could be around the corner. I bet I’m not alone in this either which is why I thought I’d share some of those “synchronistic” moments!
The synchronistic moments started a few months back when I came across Margaret Trudeau’s book The Time of Your Life…Choosing a Vibrant, Joyful Future. She’s adamant that the preparation we do in our 50’s (or 60’s) touches every aspect of our lives…like finances, health, relationships, beliefs and work. (And yes, she’s the mother of that gorgeous Canadian prime minister – Justin.)
She touches on the importance of figuring out our purpose. After retiring at an early age I was smacked up side the head with…who am I now? I know many others have struggled with this too. One day I was a successful corporate executive and the next day I had no purpose because my job was my purpose. Looking back over my 50’s…I did have a purpose, I just didn’t know it at the time. Had I been working I would’ve never been able to give my time to my parents during those years my father struggled with Alzheimer’s. Ms. Trudeau is so right…purpose gives our lives shape and meaning. But she also hits on another important point and that’s to learn to just be. She speaks about how in our younger years we’re often colored with an uncomfortable urgency, a sense of striving, but how this seems to diminish with age with the desire for purpose and meaning increases. The move to NYC brought about the just be with a subsequent “purpose” – the discovery of photography…even if it’s making that image just for myself which is the impetus behind my photography. She goes on to say that the beauty of finding purpose is that it compels, intrigues and consumes. I’ve never read a more accurate statement.
Continuing with Ms. Trudeau’s book…what really hit home was that happiness, fulfillment, adventure, purpose and joy…all are things that make our lives wonderful and meaningful and worth living…hinge on sound health. Even though it may not have been visible, losing my father to Alzheimer’s was a very heavy blow. First, to deal with the stress of him losing his mind…as well as the stress that was placed on my mother…I did what I should not have done. And that was to quit exercising, start mindless eating and drinking way too much alcohol. I just did not have any motivation. All of that resulted in fifteen extra pounds in the course of several years and a high percentage of body fat. As Ms. Trudeau says in her book…the foundation for the rest of our lives is built on the choices we make and the actions we take in midlife. The bottom line…I need to improve my health. So that’s what I’m starting to do. I hired a nutritionist and a personal trainer to get me on the right path for the next six weeks while I have the quality time here in Arizona. I had a wellness exam to get a baseline on those critical numbers…thankfully…good results. So now it’s all up to me. I can’t undo something overnight that took several years to develop great carport kits, but I can certainly get on a healthier path and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
Aging also gives us the opportunity to reflect and I’m seeing others doing this as well. Here’s some more synchronistic moments that came my way recently… Take Catherine of Foxglove Lane as an example…she recently posted about aging, but she calls it ripening. Love that. Or take Donna of Living from Happiness who writes about finding my power and shedding my bark…and then there was this article in the Washington Post (It’s no longer okay to be sexist or racist…She asks why it’s still okay to be ageist) that led me to the author Ashton Applewhite. I just ordered her book This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. I’ll let you know my thoughts when I finish it. Then another article came into my in-box just a day or so ago…”how did it get so late so soon?” So I’d say the universe is talking…and boy am I listening!
My guess is this topic is on many minds and if any of this resonates with you…or you have thoughts…I’d love to hear and I bet others will too.
*Surely I’m late to the game…but have you heard of the foam roller? My trainer starts my session by using this roller to loosen tight muscles to help improve mobility. Oh my…it feels just like getting a deep tissue massage…it’s the best…specially when I can barely get up and down from being so sore! I’ll provide updates in future postings as to my progress…
*Just finished reading the novel Georgia…a love affair between the artist Georgia O’Keeffe and photographer Alfred Stieglitz. A read that’s just as provocative as O’Keeffe’s famous flower paintings. Thanks to Margie of Smitten with the Mitten for the recommendation!
*Oh…the image above? The night blooming cereus is blooming again…still relishing in the beauty!