"Fixing my brokenness" is not the reason for changing course in my life in 2016.
Yes, I am broken in some serious places, like in my body’s ability to function fully. I have hypertension and out-of-sight glucose readings. My joints ache from being fat. Like a scientific observer I am intrigued by my crooked arthritic toes and fingers. My body today is vastly different from that of my 20s and 30s. Physical changes may be gradual, but self-awareness of them arrives like a light switch being flipped.
Instead, I am focused on possibilities and not impairments. Even at an age nearer 70 than 60, I am convinced there are benefits in life worth moving towards. My hopes are aspirational rather than centered on avoidance. I see the understated charm of seniors' love stories. I understand yearning for the ordinariness of human touch that diminishes as yesterday’s sexuality seeks new expression. We continue to be given chances to change and renew until our last breath.
Forgiveness tends to be twinned with repentance and delivers promises of self-liberation for the forgiver. Waking up as a senior doesn’t have to be paired with regrets and can simply be acknowledgement of actual lived experiences with no judgment attached. Yeah, I really did live that way. I really did those things. Oh, silly me!
I’m grateful for the Internet and search engines that allow me to find inspirational stories of senior athletes and innovators who are off on their next career or adventure. I continue to be inspired by saints who make life better for others. And I also want to be a better me for the rest of my own life.
I once wrote a blog titled “Mending Our Brokenness” about the Japanese use of 24 karat gold to restore a pottery item to new versions of themselves, beautiful and functional. The process is called kintsugi. In 3-1/2 years, it has garnered over 10,000 views, suggesting that humans have a deep interest in mending our brokenness.
I now find myself seeking the 24 karat gold that will create a new version of myself, beautiful and functional. It’s not about fixing any brokenness. It is about finding and embracing the new glue – whether it’s contemplation, nature’s beauty, humor, or kitchen tasks – that will restore my ebullience in encountering every new moment.