If you are of a certain age
Being a good deal over 55, I confidently opened the email to see photos of a Toni Perm kit; a ball and jacks; one of those party favors that popped open and spilled confetti all over the place; a bottle of LePage’s glue. Yep – I could identify and remember each one.
And you are wondering “so what?” Well, here’s what. Those under 55 will probably not find this a compelling blog post; yet I am compelled to write it because of two recent experiences that our SP Spirituality of Aging Committee had provided. In short, the silly email put me in touch with the good feelings and thoughts of those two times.
The first activity couldn’t have been simpler to organize nor more satisfying to engage. We gathered in small groups and shared around the questions given to us by the committee. You may — if you’re of a certain age — want to gather a group of friends and share your ideas and feelings generated by these seemingly simple questions:
• When did you first realize you were aging?
• What difficulties or challenges are you experiencing as you age? What do you fear?
• What does aging well look like/feel like to you?
• What is life-giving for you?
• What would enrich your life further?
I think you will be surprised — as were we — at the depth and humor and tenderness of sharing that these simple questions evoke among you and your friends.
Then, on this past July 7, many of us SPs and some Providence Associates attended a workshop titled “God’s Overflowing Goodness: Embracing Our Gift of Years.” Presented by Brother Ray Mattes, IHM, it was a lovely day of listening, of pondering, of considering in a prayerful and deliberate way “the gift of years.”
Brother Ray posed these questions for our consideration. Perhaps they are of interest to you.
• Still growing and learning?
• Maintaining the potential for promise and connection to the future in your life?
• In pursuit of happiness, joy and pleasure?
• One who works to synthesize wisdom from your long life experience?
• One who formulates the wisdom of your life story into a legacy for the church, society and future generations?
• One who, like Simeon and Anna, embrace the vocation of later life?
I hope you enjoy the questions; I hope you find delight in sharing the feelings and thoughts they evoke in you; I hope you — and I — will embrace with enthusiasm the “gift of years.”