Pondering the Inevitable

"You are an eternal being now on the pathway of endless unfoldment, never less but always more yourself. Life is not static. It is forever dynamic, forever creating. Not something done and finished, but something alive, awake and aware. There is something within you that sings the song of eternity. Listen to it. ~ Dr. Ernest Holmes
"We are continuously living a new life, and when the old and the new do not fit nicely together, the old - no longer able to contain the new - should be discarded." ~ Dr. Ernest Holmes

In honor of my 71st birthday this week, I thought I would feature pictures of baby animals.  This is a darling baby baboon. Enjoy. 

I struggled with writing the blog this week.This birthday is different for me - probably because I am alive and just as easily could not have been this year.  It has given me pause and cause to be reflective - in a good way.

It is my 71st birthday Sunday.  One minute you're 10 years old and then the next minute you have 10 years left. Often, I am confused about how this happens.  Does anyone else over 60 feel that way? I am once again pondering what it is to be 71 on the outside and something else all together  on the inside. I can’t lie.  There are days I am at peace and days that I struggle!

One of my favorite scenes is from the show  Downton Abbey. The dowager, Violet Crawley, was played by Maggie Smith,  a character somewhere between 75-85 I think.  In one show an old beau from fifty years earlier appeared (who was definitely not of English upper-class) and propositioned Violet to step back into the love affair.  Social necessity meant Lady Crawley had no choice but to decline his invitation  but left the dowager verklempt and sullen. Isobel Crawley asked her what was wrong, to which she said, “that was probably the last indecent proposal I will get in my lifetime.”  On the outside is this old woman and on the inside a twenty year old remembering this past moment. When along the way did it happen?  All I can say is how great to get one more great indecent proposal! Ha!

I know. I know.  Age is just a state of mind.  Age is just a number.  You are only as old as you feel. Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  My life is testimony to the truth of that.  And still.  I look in the mirror.  I see myself through the eyes of a 30-year-old doctor, or a 40-year-old man, or a 5-year-old little girl – and it seems indisputable that something weird has happened.  I am seriously ensconced in being an elder, a senior – - a crone. I am quickly approaching "old-lady."  And I am not sure when it happened.    Joan Didion wrote a book called “A Year of Magical Thinking” which sported a line, “remember when life was all about cute shoes.”  I remember when life was about dressing for success and searching out that next indecent proposal.  I suppose cute shoes are still important but usurped by remembering to take the medication to lower my cholesterol and thin my blood! So annoying,

It may not sound like it but I really am having quite a good time. I am not depressed or sad and definitely not resisting getting old or dying at all.  I am however, aware of a kind of vanity which I am working on releasing – something about cute shoes, indecent proposals and the like.  I am quite aware that I am on the runway of life wearing a different kind of outer-wear and cultivating a different kind of inner-a-ware-ness. Most don’t really want to think about it.  Many find the conversation depressing or scary.  But personally, I want to stay awake for all of it.  I don’t think I shared that at my request, my neurosurgeon allowed me to stay awake for my Angiogram following my stroke. It was the most AMAZING experience to witness them taking pictures of the inside of my brain.  I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. I really really want to stay awake and in the moment for all of life including aging and dying – whatever that means.  And I suppose if I am going to do both of those things consciously, which means with attention, intention, authenticity, and love, 71 seems like a good time to start.

A dear colleague of mine, Rev. Connie Phelps, was the visionary who boldly took the Science of Mind philosophy, faith, and way of life to Kenya.  I had the privilege of spending many months with her and her students in Nairobi between 2016 and 2018.  She passed on June 20, 2020 at the age of somewhere near  65 (she managed to keep it a secret).   She was a high-profile difference maker with friends all over the world and I was deeply affected by how she moved through her illness and her transition.  It was honest, public, authentic and above all else loving.  It was and continues to be, for me, an inspiration.

I am being poignant, aren’t I?  I am not normally affected by my birthdays so much but there is something about this one.  I am grateful to be alive, to be living in South Africa and to be going home to begin my version of the Golden Girls with my younger sister.  The minutes, the months and the years feel precious.  I am even hopeful for a final indecent proposal or two.  Like the dowager, I’m not sure I will accept, but one never knows!

I really am quite enjoying navigating this time in my life. I am surprised by how luxuriously deep it is proving to be.  I am eternally grateful for the strength of my spiritual foundation for its role in keeping me moving forward with optimism and trust. My guess is that I have more years left than I really expect or maybe even really desire! 

I appreciate our relationship. Thank you for sharing my birthday with me. 

Love, love and more love,


"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art."~ Eleanor Roosevelt
"We are all going to age, soften, mellow and transition. All of us, if we are lucky. There are plenty of things to be 'anti' about: anti-discrimination, anti-drugs, anti-oppression, anti-poverty and anti-sickness. Aging isn't one of them. We need to become pro-aging and embrace the opportunities that aging provides." ~ Jamie Lee Curtis

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