“In the kind of world we have today, transformation of humanity might well be our only real hope for survival.”
Thirty years ago, when my parents entered their 50’s, they were asked to participant in a university study on aging. They were interviewed separately in cubicle offices by young 20 something year-old students. The questions were basic, covering a broad range of subjects that were easily answered, until the last one. “Looking back over all of your life experiences, what advice would you give to a young person starting out.” In separate offices, without any discussion, and without hesitation, they answered, as if in unison: Remember that time is finite. Do what you must do. Choose your friends wisely for they will influence the quality of your life. Continue reading
And they lived happily ever after….well, that is until the end of the story which is,
Till death (or divorce) us do part…”
There is an end to a marriage. The statistics, no matter how you interpret them, confirm that divorce is a reality. And then there is death. The statistics are quite firm on that point. We are left with the unpleasant, if somewhat intimidating thought that, one way or another, there is an ending to the wedding story. Continue reading
Someone asked me why I’m blogging. Is it something about aging? Actually, Clanmother is about living. Living is a more difficult thing to do especially when you feel time is running out. That’s what it really comes down to. We don’t mind aging; we just don’t like getting old. The body that has faithfully carried us around for many years appears to be out of steam. We have a few more aches, especially when we try to keep up with the 25-year-olds. Wrinkles have become a constant companion even after we diligently apply liberal amounts of creams with the latest enzymes etc.
And everything seems to be getting faster – especially communication! Connectivity and communication are driving forces that keep us in step with our world. We live in a global community driven by texting, social media and instant chat where photos and videos are shared within seconds. Sometimes, we don’t even know that we are out-of-step, much less when we became out-of-step.
One of my favourite words is resiliency – the ability to return to the original form and/or the ability to recover readily from adversity. When I was young, I ran in the fast lane during a period of great change. My resiliency was high. We are now living in a time of even greater change. I believe resiliency is still a powerful energy, irrespective of age. And it is at its strongest when we participate in the dialogue. That means we must embrace new technologies and venues for communication.
I will age – that’s a fact. But I will not grow old.
Follow the Rainbow
A good friend asked me about moving on in life, whether from one moment to the next, or a major event or stage. The trick is to become “engaged” with life. Transitions are never smooth, nor is the pathway easily identified. The most compelling force in our lives is our community of family and friends. Connecting with life means that we connect with each other. For example when you see children leave home for the first time. In this scenario, there are three events unfolding simultaneously: 1) a child taking the first steps into an adult world, 2) a parent encouraging the child to fulfill his/her destiny, 3) a parent embracing the most important time of their life: the time of renewal and artistic endeavor. There is a symbiotic relationship of accepting and supporting on both sides. It is never easy to give up what we have been, to move on to an unknown. But there are others that have gone on before us – they can help. That is why we must treasure the kindred spirits that we meet along our way. They become beacons of hope in the darkness. Have you ever noticed it is always the darkest before the dawn? And a rainbow comes with rain.
I was recently asked how my life changed after graduating from the Dalhousie MBA(fs) program. What a wonderful question to be asked! Especially now that we are coming into a new year – 2011 – which promises to offer many adventures yet to be experienced. I was 43 when I started the MBA program and finished just as I turned 48. At 43, I already had a fulfilling career, sat on several volunteer boards and had a fairly balanced home life. While most people take an MBA to prepare themselves for the next position, my career aspirations had been fully realized. I chose Dalhousie’s academically rigorous MBA program for a very specific reason: I was ready for the next phase of my journey, the time that Mary Catherine Bateson, in her book “Composing a Further Life” so eloquently defines as the “Adulthood # 2.” Continue reading