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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Time of Life

Back from another road trip (consulting to a health organization)- over some wonderful, but snowy peaks for part of it. This photo is one of the passes the road descends from, it's called Anarchist Summit (the photo is another season altogether from this week).

I am at a time of life where my inclination or pulls are towards what we call retirement. I mean they are away from the ambitions of the marketplace and ambition and more towards freedom, focus on things that interest me, travel, reading/writing and just being with people I want to be with.

There really seem to be natural adult phases, should one live long enough to go through them. I was certainly blasting my way out into the universe in my 20's - exploring the inner and outer worlds with amazing vigour. I couldn't get enough...

In my 30's it was more measured and I seemed to be collecting learning and experiences in a way that I could use later. I sometimes felt pulled in different directions and probably had a sense of knowing that choosing some roads meant never going down others.

In my 40's I felt like a mature fruit tree. Lots of leaves, good strong roots and a regular load of apples ready to pick. It was a time of knowing with more certainty who I am (and comfortable with any uncertainty).

I'm in my 50's now and I feel more like in my 20's, except that I'm not going to sleep on the floor in Indian ashrams or on Turkish train station benches (well, I'm not opposed to hostels...) Our kids are nearing the leave-home stage and my thoughts turn to simplify, travel, explore, learn... communicate. Who knows?

Musing from a tired traveller...

Where are you on the map?

Comments:
Interesting journey Gary. I recognise everything of it until your mid thirties (old and wise friend :-)

I believe I've entered into a new era myself last year. Its feels like compassion, love and quest for knowledge finally found eachother whereas up until two years ago only the latter prevailed. Allthough I still enjoy my rather luxuous job and position, I've casted the materialism and some personal shitt. Became vegetarian, stopped drinkin' the previous amounts (to be honest I quit drinking. Woke up one day and didn't like it anymore), meditate daily, feel commfortable with uncertainty because I feel a rock-solid faith in "that something I feel is there"

..and boy it feels good!!

I'd say I'm in the middle of my map and it follows me wherever I go!
 
At my age, still surfacely bound and involved with the maternal thing - children, grands, great grands. I suppose that goes along to the grave. But inside - oh Lordy. Looking back at the path I had chosen and the footprints I have made. Unlike Piaf I cannot say "I regret nothing". , because I do. It is human to err and I erred aplenty. But I've done good in the world too, so perhaps it balances out. Inside, I harken back to my youth in some ways, free of the constraints of full time motherhood and wifehood, and I long, yearn to retrace some of my travels, study and learn more for no reason other than I want to know.If my physical condition permitted, I'd be on the road today, going, seeing, doing. So as we age, do we in some ways come full circle?
 
Everything except my body seems to be stuck in the 60's. My body knows better.
 
Gary: When your kids were little, did it seem like your days and nights just FLEW past you? I swear, it feels like I just get up in the morning and before I know it I'm getting dinner ready and getting BabyGirl ready for bed? Phew... maybe I just need a breather... like a nice weekend away. I'm afraid I'll miss a whole lot in this blur of time.

Your pix is lovely by the way.
 
Dimitri - it's great that you're so reflective, yet so down to earth. The world needs you.

Tina - yes, it was a blur with little ones and ours are 15 and 18 now - the blur seems to be the future they're rushing to. Nothing has made me happier or prouder than being a parent.

Worried and granny - the wisdom of your years and the youthfulness in your hearts (and politics) shine through.
 
Gary, I've done everything at a different pace than everyone around me, so I'm on another map entirely. I didn't have my children until my 30's. Now, I've gone back to school for a change in career directions (to teach elementary kids instead of college kids!) However, had I done it any other way, I don't think I would have been as good a mom (I was never ready before) or teacher (ditto). The things that matter to me matter more than ever. I'm better able to realize when something's not important. Sometimes I seem to see life with more clarity than ever.

But I still feel young, too, which is what having small children around does for you, I think. Young but tired!
 
Where am I? This is too hard! I'd have to know the future to be able to accurately place myself in the now. It hasn't been the usual so far, anyway; sometimes I feel like I'm in my 60s instead of my 30s.
 
I am still an egoistic SOB - my aim is to cross the atlantic ocean in a sailboat. That doesn't exclude Dimitri's proposed meditations, nor his exclamations of reducing vino rosso...
That's all good.
On the other hand, besides my own trivial private stuff, I do believe that there is a general gesture of how life unfolds to everyone. It is structured like a threefold classical sonata - - - - three movements: Exposition, transition, conclusion.
 
Okay Zee - take me with you on your sailboat and when we get to the Netherlands we'll celebrate with Dimitri. You and I will drink whisky and he will drink tea. And we'll all be on the right path together!

Madcap - you are young in life force, energy, optimism and caring... and older in wisdom and open curiousity. May you have a long, fine life.
 
This is an interesting question, Gary. I have done everything out of order compared with everyone else, so my map is different, too.

20s--I thought anything was possible. I kept working to try to find the "perfect" career, boyfriend/husband, place to live, etc. My only real success during this period was getting a great liberal education.

30s--The realization that there is no "perfect"; "perfect" is relative to each of us. I spent most of these years teaching college (which I hated) and being underemployed. I also got into the field of pharmacy (which I love)and spent these years building for the wonderful career I have now. Finally travelled to Europe in my 30s, too, and achieved a lifelong dream.

40s--Learning to be happy with what I have. I finally have a job I love & go there every day knowing there is nothing else I'd rather be doing (how many people can say that?). The plan for these years is making me the best me I can be via personal enrichment such as study, reading, etc. Also, I feel a duty to do what I can to change the world for the better, even if it's just giving people information. I think if I just work on making myself the best I can be, everything else will take care of itself.

This was an interesting blog, Gary & it wasn't easy to answer the question, but it was fun.
 
It seems as if my 20s lasted well into my 30s, and it looks like my 30s will last well into my 40s. Always the late-bloomer.
 
My place on the map: globetrotter.

I've become very restless. I want to travel the world instead of sitting in one place. I have seen many places, but I've got itchy feet. Wanderlust is filling my (invisible) wings. Now I need to flap them and fly. (lol)
 
I've been home with kids most of my adult life who are just now gaining their independence. I didn't feel like I got to do much spreading of my wings in my 20's or 30's so am looking forward to getting to do so in the near future even though I am feeling quite comfortable with being "grounded".

I loved this post. Thanks!
 
all i know is it's a shock to look hard in the mirror, having to recalibrate my perceptions of myself because i think i stopped being aware of growing up when i was in my early 20s - i can't remember enough differences to divide the decades into distinct, separate feelings.

apart from my 30s - they were the worst and i have a good idea why. i'm happiest now but i've probably said that all along the way (apart from those 30s)

if you could freeze the moment & live forever but had to choose at which (st)age to do it, what would you choose?

42.

ha ha, hitchhikers guide to the galaxy was right! from one time-travelling hitch-hiker to the other, enjoy, live long and prosper (as they say). ;o)
 
A good posting Gary which has also resulted in frank interesting remarks from other boggers. As I get older I feel much more centred in terms of where I want to be.

Relationships are important for me wherever I may be. As is learning more about life and feeling comfortable about one’s life philosophy, although I am more likely to change my mind now then when I was younger.

My daughters say I act and think like someone their age, that’s in their late 20’s and thirties, so I’m not sure whether that is complement, but being an optimist I assume that’s the case.

It seems to me from your posting your on the verge of a new life phase experience.
 

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