Yesterday, a good friend of mine from College announced that she was taking an early retirement from a career that she has had since we graduated from college almost 30 years ago. I am so excited for her, and I am also extremely curious to see what she ends up doing next. I think that this new stage of life, this second half of adulting, sometimes feels a little rudderless. The options are starting to open up more and more, and that feels exciting, yet daunting, and sometimes overwhelming, all at the same time. For a long time, I was sailing along in the narrow channel of raising a family, while my husband built his career and supported our family, and now, I am seeing this Wide open seascape at the end of the channel. It’s thrilling, but my compass is doing that wild shaking and moving that happens sometimes with compasses. It hasn’t quite settled down yet. I am eager to watch the other ships who have travelled the narrow channel with me, enter into the big, blue sea. I am curious as to where their new travels will take them, as the confines of the structural shores, slowly fade away. I want to be inspired by the other captains’ ideas and visions. I want a new destination point. I don’t like feeling rudderless.
This is a time period in our lives where “the lulls” are starting to be broken. Our kids are growing up and moving out. Our priorities are starting to shift, sometimes rapidly. We’re getting signals by watching the changes in other people’s lives that remind us that we don’t have to keep doing things the way which we have been doing them. There is no “one size fits all” formula to live life, and that seems more acutely evident now, than it ever has before. Two others of my closest friends from college become official empty nesters this year. By summer, all of their children will have graduated from high school and moved on towards their own adult lives. I am only one year away from this phenomenon myself. Wow.
I am guessing that in this next stage of my life, I will be doing a lot of loop de loops. There is a great deal more space in wide open sea, to change directions, and to stop and to explore small islands of curiosity. There is more space for error in wide open territory. Of course, the weather can get turbulent. There may be less “protection” from the winds of change, that my narrow channel afforded. Still, I am ready for the adventure. Anticipation is a delicious part of life. Anticipation of the unknown is one of the biggest thrills in life, if you can get past the fear.
Are you passing on love, or are you passing on pain? Heal your pain and pass on love.
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