I realize that my last post on this site occurred on my 75th birthday, now nearly 4 months ago. For about 4 years, I’ve been “musing” fairly regularly in this space. My own aging journey has increasingly been the topic. It’s exciting, intriguing, and thus has become a primary focus.
My new mission is to invite my younger professional peers to consciously enter into their third chapter of life and consider vibrant elderhood as a worthy goal. This endeavor is starting to occupy my time, my thoughts, and my energy. So I’m letting go and moving on from activities that no longer carry the level of excitement they used to.
That said, this is my final post on this site. Into the archives these blogposts will go –perhaps to resurface in another form in the next year. In the meantime I truly have enjoyed “musing along the way” during my own exhausting and illuminating third chapter journey to date. At the very least my musings will provide a record of these years I would otherwise not have.
Writing has been incredibly satisfying, and becomes even more so. Maybe it’s less the writing, and more the figuring out of life through writing, that has become my fascination. On this site and another, I’ve enjoyed keeping the perspectives in each of my books alive. I’ve jotted my ideas and observations on doing what one loves, and continued to muse about what life presents to me. But now it is time to stop and say goodbye. I feel done here, knowing that what I am meant to do in my life ongoing has come into sharper focus.
And so, third chapter living, third chapter thinking and third chapter mastery™ are what I wish to grapple with, live and share. The challenges and delights and curriculum of becoming the kind of elder the world needs, are absorbing my mind and heart. You’ll find me, still musing and writing, on those topics in my single remaining blog, currently located at Meet Martha Johnson.
Thank you for being along for the ride.
Be well and be happy.
Pivotal moments in life are rare and precious.
Unless of course I’m wrong about that, and those pivotal possibilities surround each of us, all the time, just waiting for us to hear their call.
The pivotal and precious occurred for me this past weekend, in the Berkshires, at the beautiful Rowe Conference Center, in a workshop with Deena Metzger, healer, activist, and wise elder. Fifteen of us worked to uncover the stories of the lives we’ve lived. We freed the story of a woman, in whose presence, one is encouraged to speak the truth. That was me. It’s true. And I get it!
Goals come in all shapes and sizes. They fulfill different purposes for different people at different stages in their lives. As a lifelong goal-oriented person, I’ve had my share of financial, mental, career, relationship targets. However, in an effort in my 30’s to tame my obsessive need for goals and their achievement, I created a goal to have no goals. Playing with that made me laugh, at least, and take myself less seriously.
But goals serve a purpose…they give us a reason to get up every day.
At 74, I note that age and maturity have adjusted part of my goal problem. My need for lots of goals has faded, and my daily To Do list no longer exists. Any goals I have are much simpler. What’s important still gets done.
Today at the YMCA pool, I met Jacob who is wheelchair bound. We both swim. We both use the mechanical chair lift to enter and exit the pool. Since neither of us walks without assistance, we chatted for a moment about how freeing it is to be in the pool swimming.
The YMCA has an honor roll on the wall with the names all those who have swum 50 miles of laps. Jacob pointed at that wall and said to me: “I’m giving myself two years. I’ll be on that list.”
He made my day. Although I’m not sure my current goal, to be able to climb out of the pool on my own, quite measures up to the heroism of Jacob, these days I’m laughing more than obsessing. And appreciating the big goals of others.
And that is good.