Writing my previous post, CALL & RESPONSE – remembering for others, linked me back to an “ancient” post from 05/28/15 recalling the 2014 National Center for Creative Aging Leadership Exchange & Conference.
How is it possible the conference was less than four years ago? So much growth, so many WOW moments over such a relatively short time!
What stands out most to me in reading the older2elder post is how much it mirrored my feelings at this past July’s IAGG 21st quadrennial World Congress – – ” The people around me shared my passion, even if they were light years past me in experience & expertise. In 2014, my main take-away was how little I knew, compared to the rest.” There were so many moments at 2017 IAGG’s Age Stage that left me “uplifted & inspired with fresh awe of what can be accomplished with people dealing with the challenges of dementia.”
Above all – “Mostly, my memories of NCCA 2014 are impressions. Chiefly, the impression that this was my most true calling, that I wasn’t loopy thinking there’s hope for uprooting replanting nurturing a different way of experiencing expansive LIVING than what’s too often the norm in our culture.” –and– “Most of what I remember from that first conference are impressions, the greatest being the sense that this was where I’d been drawn all of my life, where everything that happened along every step has been directed. It was after the conference that I could see that what stretches out before me (reveals) every scrap of every experience in my life as stepping stones to this here & now. Nothing was wasted, it all had its use.”
Okay – I’ve got goose bumps reading that last. Recently frustrated when the astonishing Judith Sachs stunned me by remembered we met at the IAGG World Congress – I’d completely forgotten. As I worried to John, “The greatest sense I took away from what should have been a life-altering six days are just impressions. How did I blow an opportunity for so much more?! (sob)”
Then, just now, a post from eons past whooshed back memories of my first “aging” conference & brought sweet relief – – “While I might not have written a posting about NCCA 2014 (which still seems impossible), it certainly inscribed itself across my soul.”
Ditto the IAGG 21st World Congress. Ditto every conference & workshop I’ve attended & taken from my Spring 2014 Omega weekend onward. Each inscribed itself upon my soul.
The very last paragraph rings as true for my experiences at the IAGG World Congress as it did for the 2014 NCCA Conference – – “Like this year, friends made it possible for me to attend (the NCCA Conference). Blessings on them for the opportunity to have my mind heart spirit opened in ways I can’t describe. … Goose bumps!”
Yes, I feel foolish, not having remembered meeting Judith Sachs last July. The only names that really connected are Wendy Lustbader, a woman I revered long before meeting her at the Age Stage, and Emily… oh rats! I forget her last name. Names weren’t important to me at the IAGG World Congress. I wasn’t there to collect contacts, to forge relationships, to swirl myself into a network of astounding energies.
What I described in frustration to John turns out to be my glorious truth – – I went there as an impressionist, or whatever the term is for a novice (no longer a fledgling!), open to soaking in impressions, to open my mind heart spirit in ways I can’t describe to myself, let alone to others.
Which brings me back to something I wrote in that long-ago posting: “As for a question posed back in March 2014 – – ‘When I die, will I leave a legacy as an interesting anomaly who had a rare talent for engaging empowering energizing a few older friends? Or will I be remembered as a catalyst for an overhauled expectation & experience of aging?’ It was after NCCA 2014 that it hit home that one thing & one thing only will determine if I am remembered as the one or the other. Me.”
That earlier self pulled no punches placing responsibility & accountability for being “remembered as a catalyst for an overhauled expectation & experience of aging” fully on future ME’s shoulders.
Dear Past Self – I have not let you down. Am continuing the good fight, am making my first dents, will never set down your torch. And, having read you, am filled with a sense of joy hope exaltation that coming away from the IAGG World Congress with “only” impressions of all I’d seen felt heard was precisely the starting point I needed.
Three cheers for unpredictable online ramblings that drew me to a glorious past self speaking a present truth to light the way for my future success thanks to now actions! For impressions that shimmer & glow as they illuminate inspire enflame. And for glorious goose bumps that recognize, without words, greatness yet to come.