Change is inevitable. Most of us are more comfortable when things roll along in familiarity. But, for me, the last 12 months have been anything but familiar. Over this time, I have:
-Retired from a 30 year career as a medical faculty member at UAMS
-Started a direct primary care practice
-Become medical director of a local rehabilitation facility
-Sold two houses and moved across town to a rental home
-Bought a new house (scheduled to close on June 5th)
-Welcomed my 11th grandchild into the world
-Undergone a knee replacement (my second one)
-Encountered a significant health scare (perils of getting older)
-Tried to stay safe and well through my first pandemic
-Getting ready to celebrate my 45th wedding anniversary!
-Endured several months without visiting my disabled son, Jordan (in a nursing facility still under quarantine)
-Just learned of the sudden, unexpected death of my daughter’s father in law from a heart attack (who is my age)
You could all compile a similar list of the changes in your life over the past year and, perhaps, it would be a good idea. For reflecting on change forces us to reconsider our priorities, our goals, how we choose to spend our days.
For me, I’ve noted that connections to family are my “fallback position”, and the rest of it (position, prestige, power, influence) are illusory and disappear faster than they are acquired. And, then, when they are gone, what is left? We must all arrive at a point where we have to answer that question. Time alone to reflect, read, and meditate help us to go deeper, but you are the only one who knows or cares. Impressing others with your actions, writing or speech was never an appropriate or worthy goal. And, to successfully navigate these senior years, we must let go of this notion and move on with grace and peace. Impacting others with your words and your example certainly are. To go on this journey inward is a form of grief, and it takes time to process the change and consider what is truly important.
My journey along this path is just starting. Come along with me. Comments and opinions are always welcome.