Saturday, 3 October 2015

Autumn of My Life: Aging Well

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the cooler temperatures, apple crisp and moving from summer's blush to autumn's explosion. It is the new New Year for me. A time for resolutions to form and my journey to change. It is also a time of gratitude when life just fills up my heart to bursting. I get excited about the newness even though I am no longer a student happily sharpening pencils. Even the smell of paper makes me smile.

I feel like I am entering the Fall season of my life right now as well.  I know that many would say I am way past that and should be celebrating the winter of my life but I was always a little slow on the uptake. I see this as a time in my life when I start to harvest all I have planted through my twenties, thirties, forties and fifties. There must have been a rush of planting in those fifties because I seem to be harvesting a little later than many! I have arrived at a time when I am able to pursue the being of me and wrap my aging hands around a new life that is defined by my own vision and newly acquired understanding.  

When I look back at the other seasons of my life, I can see where I focused my life energy and how that is paying off now. I only have to look at my four amazing daughters to know that, in spite of their parent's divorce and some hard times financially, each one has found her way and is living her life independently and, I believe, with joy.  My years of parenting - most as a single mom - were the most fulfilling and, yes, the most challenging of my life. I believe in my daughters and their ability to work with what they have and move beyond each problem they encounter. I see them adopt a great work ethic, a passion for their chosen path and a love for their children that warms my soul. It did not happen in a vacuum - they were loved.

In my autumn years, I know I can lean on my past experience to fuel my ongoing journey and to help me make choices that matter. Agonizing over my shortcomings is done. Celebrating my imperfect creativity with what I have is the new reality. I lived cautiously in my past and fed my desires with simple things like reading voraciously and journaling.  I could never get enough of either! I aspired to write stories and books and yearned for the talent to draw and paint.  I settled for photography eventually and dabbled in that to open up some creative outlet that did not require any real artistic skill - or so I thought. I worked hard and lived frugally with the goal of comfortable retirement in my distant future.

Now, photography, painting, and writing are all outlets for my simmering wish to create.  As a retiree, I can hang out with artists, have coffee with authors and enjoy each day while creating with great people to keep me company! We all have this within us.  It manifests differently, but it is there. You may burst into home decor or fashion consulting or learning to play the saxophone - all of it is your creative-self hungrily asserting itself. You just have to feed it and let it loose!

Not growing, not learning, not becoming - all are the end of life and the beginning of dying long. I choose to live long one brush stroke or typed word at a time!


  1. Enjoyed reading this! Like you, I've been basking in autumn gratitude--I even posted about it yesterday on my blog. These truly are good years, a reward for the many years of working hard and keeping our eyes on the prize of retiring early enough to enjoy the next phase, and an opportunity to explore the creative outlets that fulfill. For me, I continue to write and am working on my next book. Hubby and I chose photography as a retirement hobby to share--our styles are very different though! And, unexpectedly, I find great fulfillment in the creativity of gardening and canning. Here's to many more creative years to come!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Linda. I laughed when you mentioned your different approaches to photography. We are also like that - he tends towards landscape and I much prefer the close-up detail and colour. He is the gardener/canner - life does have a way of pushing and prodding us in new directions when we are willing!

  2. Here's to long brush strokes and typed words!


I love to hear from you!