No matter your age, the quest is to find that place you were meant to be.
Story by Liz Marchi
The more trips around the sun I take, the more I’m amazed by the differences in how we navigate this journey. Having “come of age” in the 1970s, much of my life has been defined by seeing the world in terms of women getting a fair shot at leading, earning and becoming. I have come to realize that beyond the diversity of biology, we have enormous diversity in our life aspirations and reasons for seeking them. Some of us desire to fit in, while others want to stand out. Some of us relish change, while others are undone by change. Some of us are born fiercely competitive. Some of us are deeply compassionate and nurturing. We live in a society that spends billions of dollars marketing to the virtues of youth, yet I have found myself having another “coming of age” experience at 65.
I have gone back to work full-time in an industry I didn’t know existed until I was in my 30s. It’s work I have learned by doing over many years, yet I have so much more to learn and do. More than the opportunity to become an employee again (after 12 years of being an entrepreneur), the experience of working with an extraordinarily high-achieving, brilliant team, all decades younger than me, has revealed a new head game about age.
One of my life beliefs is that I can be content with what I have, but I will never be content with who I am. I want to be better, healthier; I want to continue contributing, making a difference and evolving. Every day I get up and take a deep breath and say thank you to the universe. I am still here. I am going to get up and do my best. I am going to let go of my insecurities and live in each and every moment of this unexpected opportunity. I am going to own the truth that diversity means embracing differences, including age. I am going to put aside the expectations of more rounds of golf, more vacations, more babysitting the grandkids, and do what I really love: working to learn.
As we age, there are the inevitable and unwelcomed life events of illness and loss and decline. Life is like that, and those events can happen at any time. No matter your age, the quest is to find that place you were meant to be. As we age, let’s encourage one another to keep taking those shots, keep seeking new knowledge, keep growing and experimenting. Finishing strong isn’t easy. Our hearts and minds shine to the extent we open them up to the possibilities. There is no better time than winter to look for the light.
Liz is fascinated by the various approaches to aging — from denial, to plastic surgery, to running marathons, to depression. Given our current demographics, she thinks there is a lot to explore, celebrate and learn from those living and aging in the Flathead Valley. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.