Maxine Hong Kingston says in her meditation on turning sixty-five, I Love a Broad Margin to My Life, “I’m standing on top of a hill; I can see every whichway — the long way that I came, and the few places I have yet to go.”
This week I turn 65 and somehow this has caused me a lot of reflection about what do I want to keep doing, stop doing and start doing. Guest lecturing and writing are definitely on the keep doing list. Writing is mainly this blog and contributing occasional posts to other blogs like www.disability.gov. I may let serving on some boards go, especially the ones that feel like rubber stamp boards. My activism on disability issues consumes a lot of my energy and I worry how I’ll keep it up as I age. My encounters with services for seniors worry me. I’ve had organizations tell me they’re for seniors without disabilities. When I point out that half of seniors will develop disabilities they shrug as in “let them go to nursing homes”. I have a sneaking feeling that eventually I’ll need to balance accepting graciously what can’t be changed with changing what can. Think repeating the serenity prayer a hundred times a day would get it through my head?
Our church had a day and a half mini-retreat this weekend which gave me a good chance to assess where I stand. It’s clear I need to do more prayer time and more delighting in God’s creation. I’d also like more grace. As Mary Oliver said: “You can have the other words — chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.”
It’s been a week of celebrating, working a little, napping and enjoying walking on clear sidewalks.
With friends both near and far, (two-legged and four-legged), good books, music and food, and meaningful volunteer work, I’ll make it through the next era of life.