After going through EVERYTHING related to a quest that took close to 2/3 of my life to get from start to finish, my biggest step & action is right in front of me. And, because of Mom, I can’t even fall back on, “I’m almost 66 – too old” – – she went COMPLETELY outside her comfort zone, outside anything familiar, went straight to the thing she feared the most, and ACTED anyway, knowing she might lose the very thing she’s spent scores of years avoiding. She was 88.
Far from being too old, at almost 66, I have the three things that older age provides: access to knowledge of all that came before, the perspective that hopefully comes with age, the loss of the comforting/numbing “someday” scenario.
INCENTIVE: “If not now, when?” is always a good spur, but at almost 66, with the combined knowledge that my days are dwindling down -and- experience has shown that the opportunities presenting themselves right now won’t hang around forever.
Life coaches teach that when we brush off or procrastinate using the gifts our Muse presents, she’ll pack up & find someone who will appreciate her & them!
To make the most of the opportunities, we need to pick the ones most likely to hit the designated target, take the actions to make them so, and be SURE to offer up appreciation – I find that “Thank you! I really appreciate this & want you to know how much I’d love more of the same!” May sound a bit airy fairy, but look at my life – it works!
PERSPECTIVE: Every year of our life should be granting us greater & greater perspective. An advantage of increased years is being able to look back, pause & consider.
How many times did I get riled up over something that never happened or turned out to be a blessing in disguise? How many times did I absolutely KNOW that something was true, only to find out it wasn’t? How many people have I woefully misjudged? What story did I spin to justify something, only to have it unravel? Those are the moments that built into my here & now life a predisposition to hit pause instead of leap to ill-founded conclusions. There’s power in action – and – in taking a short, judicious pause.
INFORMATION: Knowledge is NOT power – its punch is in how information is used. Sure, the older we get, the more informed we SHOULD become. That is not always the case. A person can know a lot & still be abysmally ignorant. And things get tricky because we each process information through unique filters of experience & expectation. My sister & sister-in-law & I could be given the exact same information, process it with full integrity, and come up with three very different ideas of what was shared.
THAT’s one of the things I’ve learned over the decades that’s kept me humble! Because the information & experiences we’ve garnered over our years should, fingers crossed, make us wise. Sometimes the information we need the most hasn’t been published yet or maybe is out of print. Keep looking! Brene Brown gave her wow TED Talk on vulnerability & shame less than ten years ago (2010); The Gifts of Imperfection until 2010, You Are A Badass didn’t come out until 2013.
Heck, Stephen Covey didn’t publish The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People until after I flipped for John – and was open to seeing a better me – and didn’t make the audio tape that introduced me to his eyes-opening insights until 1990! And the words I needed to read that let me know my mother understood things better than I ever imagined were only revealed to me in 2007, five years after she died.
The key seems to be to keep learning, keep looking. Hold the information you know for sure lightly in your hands – you could be in for some big surprises.
INCENTIVE – PERSPECTIVE – INFORMATION. Saying it straight out – d on’t mess, with your Muse! Always know that she can be wilder than you imagined, demanding in ways that take you totally outside your comfort zone, take you on paths utterly beyond the beyond. If you’re lucky enough for your Muse to show up, don’t hesitate or dawdle or delay in any way – – just GO!