Way back in the last century...
…when we were kids growing up on farms in Arizona (Judy…currently 72) and Oregon (Wes…now 74) it was the custom to have parties to celebrate couples, friends of our parents, who had been married 40, 50, 60 years. Being the last-born in our families, we both have had sisters 22 and 20 years older than we were.
We’ve often laughed at how we thought that going to those really old people’s celebrations was, well, not what got us excited as kids. But, having no other choice back then, we endured. 😉
…where has time gone…
And now, the question, “Where has time gone?!?”, looms even larger as we are looking at celebrating our own 50th wedding anniversary next March 18, 2017. On a recent vacation to some of our national parks (that’s in the picture at Arches National Park in Utah), reflecting over our five plus decades of relationship, we were often saying, “How did that happen? Where has time gone? What do we need to consciously be about in our remaining years?”
As with most couples, if willing to be honest, we’ve had our ups and downs, serious concerns as well as moments of being in amazing places and meeting wonderful people. We never dreamed “back then” we would be in such places and meet such people between then and now. We’ve had our health scares and some relational scars. Friends have come. Friends have lingered. Some friends have moved on.
We’ve been blessed with a truly wonderful daughter who brings us deep joy. Relatives on both branches of our family tree are some of those in whom we also find deep joy and special friendships, even down to great-great nieces and nephews who are now getting married. “Yup,” we say, “we are getting old.”
…what do we do with the time left…
…to be fully alive…
A fact that makes some uncomfortable is the statement that dying is a part of living. None of us in some future moment can avoid that fact. These hearts, bodies, brains of our will one day cease their functions.
As with you, that has already taken place with beautiful humans you and I have known of every age. We weep when people experience a still-born birth, or when a child dies in an accident, or from starvation in a war-torn country. We ache with friends who, once ultra-capable athletes, are barely able to walk up a short flight of stairs. We wonder, if honest, which one of us will be the first to slip through the “thin veil” known as dying and slipping into heaven?
…dying is a part of living…
Yes. I know. Those six words make many friends, and others we know, very uncomfortable and squeamish. But…this is the reality of being alive…no matter our circumstances. Therefore…
do you plan to be until
breathe no more…
Seriously. Are you committed to be fully alive until your last breath? The ancient transcripts of the Hebrew portion of the Bible state that God has our days numbered. You may not even believe in a God, but the fact is no one knows when the last breath will take place.
Therefore, how committed and encouraged are you to be fully alive as much as possible and reasonable? Looking at LDG’s Circle of Life, what all are you doing to be fully alive in each one of the 8 Dimensions of Life? You can take this one profoundly simple question down through those 8 Dimensions to begin and/or continue to shift in a heart/mind set that has you being fully alive in all of who you are and and are yet to become.
In random order, what are the first three steps you will take to be fully alive in each dimension the rest of 2016? You may read our ebook to further understand the definitions. What about 2017? Or way beyond…?
Family and Marriage
Yes, one can lose a spouse, or a job, or a familiar place, or friends, etc., but it’s still our unique and special choice to be as alive as we choose to be. The two of us firmly believe that you and I have both the responsibility and privilege to be as healthy and whole and alive as possible. Circumstances will prevail. But, no matter what takes place, we are still whole people from the inside out no matter our age.
If we, or anyone else at LDG can be of encouragement to you, please let us know. This Third3rd for us, though in places not easy, has still seen us experiencing some of our best days. Generally speaking, the Third3rd of the Circle of Life is about the ages 60 to whenever:
We are fully committed to finishing well.
We are fully committed to being engaged with others coming behind us on this journey we call life.
We are fully committed to staying learners.
We are fully committed to being in the best possible health.
We are fully committed to staying curious about life.
We are fully committed to spending wisely.
We are fully committed to nurturing our souls with what we believe to be true and good and life-giving.
We are fully committed to being creative, playful, traveling some, laughing often and enjoying friends who are making these same commitments.