Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Golden Years

In almost every way, I love being in my sixties. There's something wrong with every stage of life, but there are also unique gifts that accompany every personal era. The particulars change over the course of a human life, but it's always complicated, it surely is. I feel lucky that I've survived long enough to know this. It truly is a gift.

Of course, being in my sixties is daunting, as it is for everyone. Instead of planning ahead to the next big life project, it's time to begin winding things down. I'm not the first, nor will I be the last, struggling to figure out how to hold that truth comfortably. It's alarming.

That truth, though, helps me remember how precious life is. The Buddhists are 100% right on about that. People say let go, enjoy life, don't sweat the small stuff, etc. But to someone in their 30s, life IS the small stuff. Younger people should bump heads and strive and push hard and try to find their own private holy grail. In youth, one must sweat the small stuff. It builds character and is what forges the myths that accompany every life. It's so unfair to admonish the young about it. How can they hold the big picture? They're so busy with work and children and projects and adventures. For heaven's sake.

However, at sixty, we really can begin to let go. We no longer have to sweat the small stuff. At sixty, it's all about the big picture, it's only about the big picture. It is such a relief!

I've been thinking about the adage that says, at the end of life, people wish they had said YES more often than NO. I wish I'd said yes to many more possibilities, such as living in Paris for awhile during the 1970s, for instance. But there were plenty of fateful intersections where I said YES, when I wish I had said NO. I wish I had said no to my ex husband's proposal of marriage. My sister knew the correct response. She told me straight out not to marry him. But did I listen? Of course not! It's all water under the bridge now.

Still interesting to think about.

It's a beautiful fall day in Washington DC. I have the day off work and I am fully back to what passes for normal for me. I'm going to get out there. L'chaim, y'all.

See the moon?

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