Monday, January 15, 2007

Today I've been iced in - only went out in the driveway to take out the trash and feel the cold - examine the ice on the trees (not on the sidewalk yet, but they say that's coming) I'm glad it was a holiday today - no guilt or decisions about staying in. The next couple of days may be more complicated with clients wanting to see me and the roads icy and the buses probably not running. We'll see.

For now I'm happy with my progress going through and reorganizing things in the house - continuing to pare effectively. And I love the living room the way RUth rearranged it last week - whole new confirmatin of furniture we've never had.

I've used some of the extra down time to write and think. One response to a question on my HCC board seems to belong here too. Based on the book Aging Gratefully by Naomi Judd, Paula asked us two questions. My responss follow.

What am I thankful for about aging as I have experienced it so far?I'm grateful I've have gotten this far - have gotten so much life experience and so many experiences of loving and being loved, learning, teaching, laughing, crying. I'm grateful for meteor showers in the mountains, having stood in the gardens where Monet painted, three times cradling new grandchildren and the chance to watch them start to grow up. Thousands of related and unrelated moments - more unfolding each day. At the moment I'm grateful to be sitting in my house with warm feet watching the icicles grow outside.

I'm grateful for the authority of my relative age - for having learned what I've learned and that many younger people do seem to want to learn from me. I like being the matriarch of my family and an elder in my profession - that younger therapists come to me for ant-burnout hints and wisdom training.

I'm grateful that my body works well enough and that I don't often regret that it doesn't look young any more. It isn't.

I'm grateful that I've been able to see my parents' through their lifecycles and bury them with grace - that I was able to be what they needed to be in the end. I'm grateful that my daughters seem ready and willing to do the same for me as time comes.

I'm grateful for all my losses (and the love that preceeded each of them). I know life is fragile and rich and precious and I can't claim ignorance if I don't live it while I've got it.

I'm grateful for the concept of living from love not ego - of living as the wise woman, even though I don't manage it every moment. It is a touch stone, a key concept to come back to.

What do I want more of as I age?

I hope for a time of not working and Bob not working - mornings waking together and lying in bed a while, talking, cuddling without any immediacy or shoulds - just being.

As I move away from professional obligation I want more spontaneity, being able to just up and go or keep the phone off the hook all afternoon - fewer interruptions - more introspection, couple time, travel. I do want a few more good trips - especially Yellowstone in winter.

I look forward to stepping back from the matriarch role to an advisor role - old woman in the wings - consultant but no longer expected to stuff the turkey or haul the toddlers around. I'm not there yet, but I think it will be good to be that very old woman, exempt from kitchen and carrying duty but sitting by the fire with the stories and the mirror - to help the younger ones slow down and see truths, both hard and renewing

1 comment:

Ruth said...


I think what you've written here is beautiful. It's interesting to think of you as the "very old woman" who no longer stuffs the turkey or hauls the toddlers. I thought you'd always been afraid of that. It is neat to hear you say you want it. Do you want us to try not to give you so much responsibility now? Are you tired? Or just anticipating?