Greetings from someone perhaps a bit like yourself, if over the years you've worn more hats than you'd planned and possibly taken some unexpected hits as well. But while you're here at the site, you might simply think of me a virtual ally: one of the rowdier fans clapping and whistling as you navigate the aging process itself and perhaps also pursue some goals, undergo a transition of some kind, or work through any of the following (or other) processes that call to you:
* Clarifying your present circumstances
* Determining what you believe needs to be taken care of and/or how you want your life to be
* Planning how to accomplish those things
* Tackling each step of your plan
Here, I share certain things I've observed/learned myself over the years (often, the hard way), hoping they might be useful to others. If you do choose to explore, however, please understand two things.
The first is that I am not a therapist (see Disclaimer). The second is that, despite my best efforts, a goose may emerge from time to time to offer "assertive" encouragement. If she becomes too pushy, we could simply eat her (said the vegetarian), but let's don't. She does mean well. ;-)
Over the years and among other things, I've served as a
U.S. Peace Corps volunteer; taught school; helped manage a work-release program for federal prisoners; edited countless documents in public health, water/sanitation, and international development; and served as an active volunteer, grant and program writer, and occasional board member for voluntary organizations working primarily with shelter and food provision.
Hardly a "focused" background, is it? But also not that unusual, I think, as life sometimes requires more flexibility and compromise than may feel comfortable at a given moment. Perhaps you've noted this phenomenon yourself now and then, yes?
You may also have noted that the needs for such flexibility and compromise tend to have few expiration dates. For example, just as I'd decided in my mid-50s to focus pretty ruthlessly on my own stuff, the "Fates" began messing with me again: serial health issues, my own and also those of loved ones; aging parents with Big support needs; fallout from goals deferred...etc. But there were also some good times, which helped me stagger on until my life lightened up somewhat.
And why even share these cumbersome details? To add yet more evidence that the journeys of others may be neither shorter nor more straightforward than our own...and to encourage you, specifically, to keep plugging along yourself during those times when Life may fail to match your expectations/hopes.
If your own odyssey has included unexpected twists and turns, detours, and even blockages, please bear something in mind: that was then. Now, should you be considering an alternate route or even a brand new journey, perhaps you might remain open to broadening and/or deepening your
gaze...or possibly shifting its direction entirely, if any of those feel right for you at this time.
Big Goose and I also suggest (nay, urge!) that you ponder practical ways of addressing the clutching hands of habit, health issues, any needs and/or expectations not your own, this month's crisis/crises, etc. But meanwhile, three cheers and a parade if you're looking closely at your Own wants and needs. You could be taking the first steps of a great "trip."
So, two votes: Keep taking those steps to see where they lead you; remember to have some laughs along the way! And may Yoda and "the Force" be with you as you go. ;-)
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