Conscious Aging: Heading into Fall

I still respond to the rhythms of a school year, even though my own children are long grown, or perhaps I actually respond to the shift of seasons as we cross Labor Day into the fall. I’m gearing up for an increased pace of activity: Archie starts kindergarten for two half days next week and has invited me to come on his first day. The week following I’m off to Rochester to be honored at a gala dinner, and the week after that I’m officiating at a wedding in Minneapolis. The new opera season goes into full swing, and there is a fuller schedule of World Affairs Council events. One of my three pro bono consulting gigs has withered on the vine — mostly because the group took too long to get in gear and I lost interest — but the other two continue to satisfy. I have to decide whether I want to do any more book events — I’ve done almost one a month through last year, and have some possibilities outstanding. I’ve committed to join some classes at the Y, like yoga, which will require me to respond to a schedule instead of showing up there more or less in mid-morning on my own. I’ll continue to write the blog; I’m up to 467 followers, even though only about half of you show up all or most days. That’s tiny by blogging standards, but highly satisfying to me.

Throughout my working years I think I did less critical assessment of how I spent my time. I had things to do that contributed to my personal and professional life, and I simply did them. I focused more on fitting everything in, rather than on whether everything was important or necessary. Some of my friendships, rather than being personal, were tied to professional goals. Now, I constantly assess whether I like what I’m doing and find it worthwhile. And I look at friendship differently. Now, it’s all about the richness of deep connection. High maintenance people who take rather than give are out.

I wonder if that’s a common shift in aging/ retirement? Has it been for you?

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