Friday, January 13, 2012

'Decades Service' message

My name is Mim Neal. I turned 70 on August 12. It was something I could either mourn or celebrate so I decided to celebrate. I had a great party.

But turning 70 requires more than a party. It is a major wake-up birthday.

Being 70 means I am officially old – well into the natural process of deterioration—most probably closer to death than the other speakers (which, by the way, is okay). Being officially old means that I have more wrinkles and that my body does not work as well.

On the other hand, being old means that I get senior discounts, a pension and Social Security and am (for now at least) covered by Medicare.

Being old does not mean that I am ‘done’ – I have not finished much of anything. And I have less time to waste.

Turning 70 is a time to look at the patterns of my life. There is a security in patterns. We rest in their predictability, secure in symmetry. Patterns in our lives--the routines and learned responses--allow us the illusion of familiar ground. It has always been easy for me to sink so deeply into routine that I no longer see options. The older I get, the stronger my habits get.

But I can be saved from dozing at my steering wheel by a simple comment or a major circumstance. Turning 70 is a major circumstance. It is time to examine patterns – change some, keep others.

One of the patterns I will keep is writing. I am in the process of publishing my memoir. And I am STILL working on a novel. And I will keep posting blogs and writing other stuff – it’s a necessity for me.

And I will maintain the relationships I have with friends and family.

I will also stay open to new relationships – new friends and perhaps even romance (nothing is impossible).

70 is not yet time to hunker down. I resolve to have more adventures – traveling in this country and other amazing places on this amazing planet.

I will strive to relate to the Spirit/ Life Force/ Universal Energy that is in all things, and all people (although less apparent in politicians).

I will continue to draw strength from and find ways to contribute to this incredible community, Namaqua Unitarian Universalist Congregation -- and through Namaqua and on my own, to contribute to the larger community.

In my lifetime, every time I have jumped off a cliff – filing for divorce, traveling alone, moving to Loveland -- I have become a higher dimension of myself. So now, being 70, I will stay alert for cliffs. I will pay attention – look for new ways of being in the world.

Ah! Being! Being is the important thing. Paying attention.

Whatever else I may do, I resolve to remember to
              Breathe in the beauty
              Savor the moment
             And rejoice in the fact that I will not have to do this again for 10 more years.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Belated Birthday. This is an inspiring post for any age. I think this is a good way to look at our life. Savor the moment is definitely one thing we forgot to do until it's too late. Way to go.

    Thoughts in Progress