Here’s a few things I’ve learned over oh these many years.
Trust. When I used to go to “authorities” for what to do, I now trust my inner voice. I also trust that others know what is best for them. And then there is Trust’s beautiful sister…
Faith. There is more to know than what my five senses can take in. There is a metaphysical (beyond the five senses) world out there. I see miracles every day that are beyond my understanding.
Friendship. It’s something other than friendship if it doesn’t go down two-way Mutual Street. My friends and I actively show an interest in each other.
Things happen in their time. I have fewer expectations that things will happen on my schedule or when it would be quote convenient for me. They will unfold when they unfold.
Retirement. When I first retired I wondered what I would do with all that free time. I thought I needed to schedule myself up the wazoo. No more. I have a rhythm of my day: my morning rituals, my writing and reading, daily exercise, time with amigos and amigas, and time for the unexpected. I have the gift of time. That said, I do waste a reasonable amount of time watching Sports Center.
Grandparenting. It’s as amazing as everyone says. Part of the reason is that different when we were growing our own three kids, we have more money (a lifetime with two jobs), more time (ah retirement), and more energy (we are not on 24-7 as young parents are). Another big part is Molly and Tip’s parenting which makes Owen and Max delightful to be around.
Good fortune is all around me.
Good fortune I. Molly and family move to New England. Now that Molly and her three guys have moved north to New England from Virginia, Hannah and I spend Tuesday afternoons and evenings with Owen and Max; and then we have a dinner with Molly and Tip that Hannah makes. It’s an LIB moment (Life is Beautiful).
When relationships go awry. When relationships are not going well, I know it’s not the other person’s fault. Likely we are just not a good match. It’s no one’s fault. But it is up to me to move on and languish not.
Our adult children are some of our best friends.
Good fortune II. Robyn is finding her way in Syracuse, NY; her visits home include helping us with the snow shoveling, going to the movies with me, and out for Chinese with her mom.
Unity. I have been on a journey to find a church home. I grew up Lutheran. Hannah and I dabbled with the Quaker Church in Tempe, AZ and Dover, NH; we joined the Unitarian-Universalist Church in Portsmouth, NH when our kids were young. I was even a deacon at the Congregational Church in York, ME. I always felt that I was the round spiritual peg trying to fit into a square traditional hole. And then this year, we found Unity of the Seacoast – stunned that there was an interfaith global church that was founded on what we believed and were living for the past forty years. Namaste.
Courage. I believe courage is having faith when doubting would be easier. In the past I’d jump to worst case scenario. Instead I use my inner resources to move me forward.
Good fortune III. Will and Laurel will marry this spring in Virginia. Hannah and I welcome a third daughter to our family.
If I am not following my passion, I am wasting my time.
Living my passion I. I love to write. I wake up and look forward to working on my blog throughout the morning. I love playing with the words til I get it as close to right as I am going to get it.
Don Miguel I. I don’t make assumptions. Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements is a daily inspiration. I no longer assume I know why others do as they do or did as they did. I don’t waste my time making assumptions.
Saying “thank you” to every good thing and challenge that comes my way. Daily I live with gratitude for all the good in my life. Difficult people and challenging circumstances come into my life to teach me something if I am willing to listen and appreciate what I can learn. Obstacles are opportunities.
Living my passion II. Thursday ping pong. Weekly I play with my buddy George. Over three plus years, our games are improving and we are growing our friendship.
Judge not. This is big. I have no idea what has gone on in another’s life or what issues another is dealing with. People are doing the best they can at the moment. They are on a journey. Judging them hardly helps them and only makes me insufferably self-righteous. And then there is Judge Not’s twin brother…
Forgive. No strings. No conditions. Just forgive.
Don Miguel II. Don’t take it personally. Words and actions of others are all about where they are coming from and what is going on in their lives. What others think of me is none of my business.
Living my passion III. Coastal Fitness. Having run the 1981 Fiesta Bowl Marathon and hiked to Indian Gardens on the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon, I have loved to exercise forever. Now when at home in Maine I take to the elliptical, the treadmill, and the recumbent bicycle at Coastal Fitness in Kittery to satisfy my chronic need to be active.
Good Fortune IV. Hannah. When we met at 19, we were first year students at the College of Wooster in Ohio. We dated and didn’t; lived apart on opposite coasts. After five years, we married at 24. We grew together, had our challenges, were blessed with children, and have come out the other side better than ever.
If any of these sounds like I’m There. I’m not. The journey continues.
The Universe is Unfolding and it is Good – Hannah