Category Archives: Aging and other hard realities

AGING WITH GRACE: AN OXYMORON

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Something has shifted again

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Whining about IKEA knee

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My 5 Jangle Re-entry

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THE TERRIBLE DIS-EASE OF LONELINESS

loneliness1Loneliness.  Now that’s a surprise of retirement I hadn’t planned for.  Foolish perhaps but since solitude is something I revel in I’d not thought much about what it would be like to spend so much time alone once I wasn’t heading out to the office each morning.  Sometimes it seems that I’ve lost an anchor and I definitely feel adrift.  It’s not just that most of  my friends are still working and so not available so much during the week.  Even those who retired a while ago seem to have already settled into new patterns and rhythms and aren’t so much available either.   It’s deeper than that though.  Kurt Vonnegut said that “the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”  I’ve lost a community of co-workers and colleagues, a room with my name on it, a place at the table.  Yes, yes, I know … this is something that I chose to do and that is definitely a gift to those of us with privilege.  That said, the pain of loneliness isn’t lightened by this understanding; it travels with me as I go through each day and throws its pall over much of what I do. Continue reading

Starting to feel whole again

art_mandalaTreeofLifeIt has been a very eventful week and as I sit here today I am so aware of feeling different; actually feeling the freedom I’d hoped for in retirement.  Strange, given what’s transpired in the past week or so that I feel this way now after a trauma-filled week … but I do.  It’s as if some kind of weight has been lifted from my spirit (and my shoulders) that is making life just plain easier to live.  After years of feeling as if my immune system had collapsed I’m back to being who I once was; able to take things in my stride and move along in life with the things that matter the most to me. Continue reading

I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here

Friday, July 31st (countdown to 60 – 4,000 minutes to go … but who’s counting).

I completed my MBSR course last week, just in time for my birthday.  I’m so grateful to Dr. Lucinda Sykes for her guidance through this course.  She gave me a great birthday gift in one of the things that she said to us in our last class:  “This moment is everything; this moment is your life.  Everything else is either memory or expectation.  This moment.”  Wow!  This moment is good.  No worries.  Much.

End of my 59th year

Yes, I know, yesterday I told you I was going to wait until the end of my birthday to reflect on the whole experience which might be just the thing I need to do to learn what life wants me to learn on this next day of transition.  It’s just after 8 p.m. the evening of August 2nd; being Jewish my birthday will begin at sunset tonight … about an hour from now.  I’ve had a bubble bath and washed my hair; we’ve just come back from a day and a half at the Blue Skies Music Festival which was filled with the joy of being able to be there for a while with my IMG_1755daughter and her family and sharing that with David and … bonus … reconnecting with a couple who were dear friends in my Peterborough years and talking as if we’d last spoken a few days ago but somehow had years and years of details – our lives and our childrens’ – to catch up on.  For me it is still a joy to bask in the feeling that I get sitting on a hillside, listening to bluegrass music (or perhaps Washboard Hank … who leads scores of children through all of the campsites early on Sunday morning, in costumes and with instruments) the goal being to make sure by the time they’re back there’s nobody still sleeping anywhere.  So, enough about before … about now. Continue reading