|Beauty in Life and Death|
I am at that age. You know the one where the world’s expectations of you can be met by merely breathing in and breathing out on a regular basis.
The former exhortations of family and friends were to get out and see the world … live while you can … do something … be somebody … make a mark … do something that matters … leave a legacy. Now those thoughts are generally replaced by relax … take it easy … why bother … there’s bingo on Tuesday.
This week, on my way to see a lecture that looked interesting, I sat in the car, key halfway to the ignition, making up excuses for not going … Covid’s rising … it’s chilly … I don’t know anyone … who cares whether I go or not … why not just go to a coffee shop and write in my journal. Finally, I turned the key, backed out of my conflicted state and went forward.
Philosopher, author and podcaster Sam Harris says everything we do changes our brain. We can train it to pay attention to urges like the one I faced and make a choice based on what we truly want. My brain switched from a focus on external expectations and validations to the willingness to walk into an uncertain experience ... which, by the way, wound up expanding my perspective. I think my brain shifted a millimeter and I gave myself a high-five.
"This may be one of the most
significant challenges of this stage of life."
This may be one of the most significant challenges of this stage of life. There are few expectations or cultural norms to guide our actions. Retirement, empty nests, being single for the first time in decades, as well as facing the loss of beauty and strength have left many of us in an identity crisis limbo … who are we and what are we supposed to do with our remaining years or even decades?
Maybe that’s the great gift of this age … time to figure out what still calls to us and knowing we have the freedom to pursue whatever that is without waiting for permission or validation from others.
PS Since this is #26 of this year-long commitment to finding peace with food, body and self, I’m at the half-way mark! Definitely deserves an attagirl celebration. This afternoon, I’m going to set my to do list aside and play with photos and dive into my new art tutorials. ;-)