Lately, I’ve been ruminating on aging.
Eight months ago, I turned 60 and I’m still letting it in. Suddenly, retirement isn’t a lifetime away. Suddenly, I’m watching myself physically age faster than I’ve noticed or even fathomed before. Suddenly, I’m aware of the potential of having just a few decades left rather than what seemed like an endless length of time.
I don’t feel old… yet time seems more precious than it ever had before. My oldest and dearest friend died in March, so tending to my relationships has taken on a new, laser-sharp focus.
I’m increasingly aware that something inside me is shifting towards what’s most important, such as how and with whom I want to spend my time, and what my priorities are for the next 10 years. My definition of and experience of beauty and wisdom are also taking on new meaning. And self-care takes up more time and and has grown in importance in my physical and emotional life.
These aren’t bad things. They’re new things. I recently read a quote from Parker Palmer, one of my favorite authors, where he said, “I want to collaborate with aging.”
Yes, I want to collaborate with aging. To be in choice around how I experience it, how I live it, how I adjust to it, and how I celebrate it. I am a collaborator, not a victim.This collaboration with aging feels like a major internal and external shift to me.Today, it is mostly associated with being present to my shifting thoughts about myself and my priorities, plus massive doses of self-care, self-acceptance, compassion, and even a smattering of gratitude for every bit of it.
I’m certain I will come to peace with my aging as I have with every other major life change because I trust my process, I trust Life, and I trust my Divine nature that calls me forth. Still, it feels quite vulnerable and tender to talk and write about because I’m living in the uncomfortable phase of resisting.The other day as I was sitting in my living room, I made an effort to embrace surrender for a moment, I literally asked myself a question I remembered from a Mary Oliver poem. She asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” My focus clarified yet again to my current moment and state of needs – and I took a 15-minute power nap.
Regardless of your age, how would you like to collaborate with aging? And what is your plan for your wild and precious life (or day or moment)? What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
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