SEASONS CHANGE: ENCORE YEARS
Just as the change of seasons usher in new temperatures, colors and general weather, so also are the seasons of our lives. The season of youth is a time of great experimentation and learning, hopefully, gaining wisdom as we move toward adulthood. Adulthood brings its own challenges as we learn to navigate the world we live in without constant supervision and guidance. We learn to make our own choices and suffer the consequences, be they positive or negative. Live and learn becomes the motto.
We have a season of career where we stretch ourselves to become the best that we can be, continue learning, and gain upward mobility, possibly recognition for our contributions. Most importantly one would hope to find a peace with their career choice and a true love of what they do each day. At the end of this season, we move into our retirement years, or as I like to call them, Encore Years. For me, it means that once again I stretch myself to learn new things, experience events I have always wanted to do, learn more about the world through travel, grab as many moments as I can with family, and sit with my morning cup of tea.
For me, ‘sitting with the morning cup of tea’ includes prayer, meditation and reflection, thinking about living in this present day and letting tomorrow take care of itself. Sometimes present moment living is easier said than done and requires some contemplation and practice. I am still a work in progress on that one!
Here are some other things that show up for me in this new season of Encore Years:
- Breathing in the wonderful smells of nature as I do my slow walking.
- Chewing my food slowly to discern all the wonderful flavors.
- Taking in the gifts of my grandchildren in their smiles, hugs and their beings.
- Basking in sunshine any day I can for at least 20 minutes, even if it is cold out.
- Smiling at as many people as I can each day.
- Not cooking everyday, but when I do, relishing the recipe and the challenge.
- Being able to take days of ‘retreat’ to sort of disappear from life and drive to a new destination of a place I have always wanted to visit.
- Reading a great book every night instead of preparing for work the next day.
- Changing how I dress from the corporate look to a casual, comfortable but sometimes elegant mode.
- Last but not least, counting my blessings daily and being grateful for each and every moment in the day.
“Change is one of God’s greatest gifts and most useful tools” from Shauna Niequist, author.
Where are you in the season of change? What do you want to do next to enhance your current season?