Checkpoint – are you heading into those silver years and feeling old and useless? Do you find yourselves in an unprecedented state of uncertainty, stress and nervous tension and the feeling time is running out? Maybe it’s just me but I find myself wanting to do more, not necessarily because I have to – although I must admit that if I had to live on my pension alone I would fall somewhere between “poverty” and “barely surviving.” In talking with family, friends and acquaintances in and/or around my age group, I am learning that my situation is not unusual. On the contrary; I find that a growing number of “baby boomers” are “in the same boat,” to put it in an overused phrase from my day.
Let me share my story and see if it resonates with you. This month, May 23, I turn 65, and my own life, personally and professionally, has changed beyond recognition in the last year. This time last year, May 6, 2013, I had not yet set foot on Malaysian soil, yet now I live here – in a manner of speaking – and plan to transform the world from this base with my husband of just over one year. Is it a wild dream or a realistic possibility? Am I experiencing the madness that many believe comes with old age? How did that all happen so fast?
Allow me to answer that. It has long been my passion to transform the world; to partner with my soul mate and leave a legacy for those I leave behind when I ‘shuttle off this mortal coil.’ Decades ago I set these intentions, and trusted they would occur….yet I had no way knowing now how, where or when it would come to be. During my life I have not always been so bold but my intentions were always authentic and always trusting. Let me share my timeline right now.
I stepped out on to the invisible bridge – you know … the one that ‘Indiana’ Jones stepped out onto toward the end of “The Last Crusade” – on May 21, 2012 with the certain knowledge that my “leap of faith” would plant my foot on the right path. Okay … so maybe I did not have that certain knowledge, but I felt confident enough in my intentions to take that chance. I had, after all, been setting and writing down my intentions for over 6 years without knowing the details which managed to remain largely unknown until about three years ago.
At that point my life was unfolding in an embryonic way which, at 62, was a wee bit unnerving. During a time that would normally have someone thinking of retirement, a pension, a quiet life of being a grandparent and staying home with the grandkids, I was selling everything I considered dispensable (which turned out to be about 2/3rds of what I owned), letting go and moving headlong into a new relationship with someone who lived half-a-planet away from the only home I had known for my entire life. Not once did I really stop to consider what the consequences could be.
This journey’s outcome became more certain as time passed because I had based my choice and my intentions to share deep unconditional love with someone who shared my profound commitment to leaving the world a better place for “our” having been upon this earth. As much as that, I was drained from having done so much by myself, a feeling that “being on my own” tended to produce.
Oddly, I was not completely prepared for the speed at which this river could flow on its inexorable journey to the sea. And to this day I have no idea where it will eventually enter the ocean of all that is to be. So now I hold fast to my courage, steer where and when I am needed, and watch as the powers of the universe chart the seas we must sail at this point in our lives.
The adventure comes with being unable to count on the next week being as I think it will be today or tomorrow. What I do know, however, is that it will be what I intended even if I fail to recognize it right away. Have you experienced that sensation?
Do things like that scare me? Absolutely; more than I care to remember. Do I regret taking risks, setting new goals and taking a huge step into the unknown? No.
Just as before, I know that I set my intentions and that they addressed good and decent goals. That knowledge enables me to feel truly alive and aware of the world around me. Whether or not I like roller coasters (and in reality, I’m not overly fond of them) I am ready for the roller coaster waiting out there for me if it must be. Being the entrepreneurial creator of my life, my health, my wealth and my personal legacy is quite empowering even if a little frightening at times. And so now with my companion, my soul mate – Jim, aged 70 – I have become far more intrepid that I thought I could be and believe me, I have done some things that Jim finds difficult to believe and more difficult, at times, to understand. We often discuss the possibility for more “baby boomers” like us doing what we are doing. “Do they want to?” “Can we help them?” We hope so because we would like a growing number of intrepid “boomers” to join us on our adventure. There is more to the story, and in my next installment of the “Journey of a Lifetime – The Story of My Leap of Faith” I will tell you more. Jim and I feel that we are here to walk this path with you and others like you.
We would love to hear your thoughts. As some of our wisest men once said in song … “All you need is love!”