I am fifty this month and that’s causing me to reflect. As a man I will probably reach eighty plus, so I have another thirty years. I remember at forty I was anxious about how much time I had left, and that’s still the case, but I see things a little differently.
Through much of my forties I managed to maintain the myth of growth, keeping fit, continuing to learn and develop. However, as I reflect more and become more aware of the myths I live by, I can no longer ignore my own physical decline. The next thirty years will not be ones of growth. Will they then be ones of decline? Physically yes, but in wider terms I hope they will be years of refinement.
For many people later years can be difficult, and this may cause reflection on meaning and purpose, often expressed as legacy. In a material culture this may be expressed as accumulation of wealth or belongings. I think my life will leave behind less tangible things, such as memories and experiences for the people I touch with my life, and the ripples that spread out from those meetings.
My legacy is contained within my refinement, and in this the physical decline is a blessing. I can no longer pretend immortality physically, or continue to do and achieve at the pace I have done. Instead I must decide what is essentially me, to refine myself down to my essence. I must also refine what I do in my life, rather than spend my time and energy on that which is needless. A few things seem most worthwhile; beauty, love, kindness, connection.
Refinement may also rest on how I express in my life that which I care about, my passion and purpose. What I do must therefore rest on these things, not on seeking the validation of others through doing what they think I should.
Maybe you have just had a ‘significant’ birthday and are beginning to wonder about these issues? Perhaps you are searching for your passion and purpose. If you feel dread about your later years, or you’ve noticed you’re distracting yourself with alcohol, food or manic exercise and activity, you may want to reflect on what is going on for you.
If you’d like to chat about any other life coaching issues, please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org I offer a free half hour Life Coaching telephone assessment to see if working together could be beneficial for you. If you’d like to understand more about Life Coaching please watch my video at http://creativedifference.org.uk/what-is-coaching/