Today I am grateful to be alive, to feel, see and know the grace and power of something we call Spirit. That alone is joy and gift enough!
I feel the greatest contentment anytime when I am on the ocean or at the beach with my family.
Living with chronic back pain and striving however I can to remain active and mobile, is challenging me to learn how to live with this pain while remaining as active as possible. At the same time, this reality is also requiring me to make peace with the things I can no longer do physically.
There is a certain, simple beauty in our home.
There is beauty surrounding our home in our lawns and gardens.
There is beauty in the trees both on our property and off to the horizon.
There is unmistakable beauty along our shorelines and our salt marshes.
And there is beauty looking out across the expanse of ocean beyond.
I am not sure if I have a need to make my life “more” meaningful, but what helps to make my life matter most from day to day is being aware of the needs of others, helping where I can, and working overall for the greater good of my community, both spiritually and civically.
That the weeds will be here long after I am gone!
I consider myself a student in this arena. As a 69 year-old man living with chronic back pain, but also as a person who likes to do a fair amount of physical “stuff” whenever I can, that frequently prompts those around me to say, “Let me get that for you,” or, “You shouldn’t be carrying that,” I frequently feel both frustrated and grateful at the same time for such offers. It’s maddening sometimes because I know that they are right, and I also know that their offers are coming...
I consider myself a student in this arena. As a 69 year-old man living with chronic back pain, but also as a person who likes to do a fair amount of physical “stuff” whenever I can, that frequently prompts those around me to say, “Let me get that for you,” or, “You shouldn’t be carrying that,” I frequently feel both frustrated and grateful at the same time for such offers. It’s maddening sometimes because I know that they are right, and I also know that their offers are coming from a place of concern and love for me as well. I am much better at receiving offers of help than I once was and these days it’s not unusual for me to also use those three words….” I need help.” However, receiving help “easily” has room for improvement, still.
Great question today! Some of the benefits and joys that come from being the age that I am right now are:
I am still here to participate in this reflection!
I can speak my mind with more clarity and confidence.
I am far less concerned about what others may think of me than when I was young.
I am able to live more for, and do more for others, now that I am retired.
I have far more control of my daily events at this stage of my life than ever before.
Sweep their path with kindness.
Pay attention, stand for something and know that gravity wins in the end.
By being fully present to the gift of this new day!
My childhood experiences of place, play, interactions, and my work and career experiences, both good and not good, are all a part of my personal story and identity. Added to this, of course, are my experiences as a happily married person, as a parent and now as a grandparent of seven. I look back on these life events in total with Joy, gratitude and wonder and in no way do I ever consider anyone one of these events as a limitation. Quite the opposite, actually.
I already believe that every moment of my life is a gift. For me, it means I wake up each morning and looking forward to what the brand-new day will bring.
Generally, every time that I do “let go” of some issue or matter that I am struggling with, it lightens my load and frees me up. And that’s always a good thing.
It is hard to say what kinds of experiences open me to “awe.” All I know is that it comes on its own terms and without my knowing in advance. Besides, trying to name the experience that brings on a sense of “awe,” in my mind at least, diminishes the experience itself.
I value my life, my family, my time, my faith experience and my senses. I don’t “invest” in them, I live them and experience them with the sum adding up to a life lived well.
If I am able to live through my days exercising kindness, compassion towards others, participating in works that support the common good and do it in a way that is honest and meaningful, then I am content to leave any “assessment” of my nature to others.
Generally, the longer the pause before I respond to another person’s question or statement, the greater amounts of grace, compassion and clarity will be carried in my reply.
Good question! And I will benefit greatly by sitting back and taking notes from my friends in this space who may have some nuggets of wisdom and tricks to share on this topic!
For certain, I know some ways that help the process of waiting to be more effective, though I seldom use them! Instead, I try to plan things carefully so that I’m not waiting! And when I do find myself waiting, thinking of it as art does not come to mind!
Amen, Samuel, amen!
I hear you, Trevor. Sometimes a one track mission is what’s needed most until other paths become visible.. I’ve been there, and have lived long enough to know that I could be again one day, too.
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