Now that the Winter Solstice is behind us here in the north, we are moving toward the sun once again. Already I have noticed the difference. Daylight hangs around just a little longer. I have the urge to get out of bed a little earlier in the morning. And I more often see sunshine during the day. The overcast dreary days of December have dissolved into some occasional bright light in January. Just what is that globe hanging in the southern sky that makes me squint on my walks?
I welcome January. This year I celebrate my 60th trip around the sun. “Not a big deal” I say to myself on some days. On other days it feels shocking. Just how did I make it to 60 when so many of those I idolized have not? Not that 60 is old. It isn't. But I'm a Boomer and some of us lived hard.
Most days, I don’t feel a day over 40 until I look in the mirror. So I just don’t look. Or at least I look without my glasses on, for those glasses too have become a more permanent fixture on my face. For some reason, others' photos of me are often more flattering than what I see each morning when I roll out for another day. I look at those photos and wonder how the photographer did that. Smoke and mirrors? Why can’t my mirror reflect that? So I choose to believe the photos others take of me must be the way I look through their eyes. That gives me just a little of the joy that often comes when we delude ourselves and become the figments of our imaginations.
I've noticed a shift in the way I talk about myself these days. I have pretty much dropped all titles and labels and credentials. My education matters less now than it did a few years ago. I expect that importance to decline even more. When people ask me what I do, I often can’t find the words to even describe what that is. At any particular time I may call myself a retreat leader or a coach or a guide or just one who likes to reflect and ponder. Sometimes I’m a writer, a player, a fisherwoman and an explorer. I've worn all these titles in the past but they used to be capitalized. Now they are barely more than a word to me. I'm enjoying using whole paragraphs instead of a few titles to express who I am and why I do what I do.
Still though, I remain someone who loves to grab people by the sleeve and take them into nature and discovery. I find myself acting on that urge often when I’m talking with someone I know will be awed by what nature and just a little risk has to offer. “Let’s go,” I say. “Come with me. I have something to show you. By the way, bring your hip boots!” And then I take them. And then I do some coaching. And then I know I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
So there are parts of us that remain who we are and what we love, whether it’s a business endeavor or not, no matter our age. At my core, I'm someone who wants to take you on an adventure, internal or external. I’m glad to be hanging my Tilly and my bandana on that until I discover what’s next for me.
Hello, sunshine. Now sit. And tell me a story. What's next for you?
Peace and Love
"Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got." Janis Joplin