I'm "living the question." Artists, writers, poets, entrepreneurs, and anyone who has had an idea or a heart's desire and - in spite of fears, doubts, and trepidation - chose to pursue a path beyond it's unknowable bend knows the concept. They are living the question. They are "being" in order to find out the answers to the question of their calling, to discover the fodder of their life's work or of the particular question, to explore to its natural outcome something that is personally meaningful. In choosing to follow their own calling or desire, they take risks (even if it's a step out of one's comfort zone), accepting that the discomfort -- fear, some might say -- is a necessary condition of living the question. It adds zest to life.
Anyone who creates original work -- everyone -- knows this. When you venture off to do something only you can do, that which may seem to matter only to yourself, you are going to a place where it can be quite exhilarating and scary and fun, all at the same time. You know when you have ventured into that space. (I know there is a chorus of "but" out there -- the circumstances, challenges, and all the reasons we cannot do something. I understand and accept that, and I take heart, not in what limits us, but what we can do. That's discussion for another day.)
When I first started talking about "the second half of life" and of encore acts, I wondered if this made sense, if it resonated with other people. Certainly there are people who are successfully in their second, third, numerous encore careers, and those whose lives are already flourishing. But, in fact, I've found that the topic resonates with many. I keep engaging with others and following the topic from one point of interest to another, and new paths unfold. This is what some call "way-finding"... I hope you experience this in your life as well. "What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?", poet Mary Oliver asks. This is the question I love to help others answer... how to find their own path, their next step towards a more personally meaningful, fulfilling life. Live the question, with all the courage and strengths you can muster.
I'll have my first class on this topic at North Seattle College in the fall...
From Mid-Life Through Retirement - A Path Forward
"What's next" in your life?" The second half of life presents unique opportunities and challenges. Whether you are an empty-nester, thinking of an encore career, or shaping your new life in retirement, this interactive workshop will help you identify your goals, clarify your values, and forge a way forward.
(Course will meet four Tuesdays, Oct. 20- Nov. 10, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.)
Thoughts for creating success in the second half of life.