Thursday, 6 April 2017

Time and Tide

'….when it is autumn in your life, the things that happened in your life, the things that happened in the past, or the experiences that were sown in the clay of your heart, almost unknown to you, now yield their fruit. Autumntime in a person's life can be a time of great gathering. It is a time for harvesting the fruits of your experiences."  ~ John O'Donohue 'Anam Cara'





My Jubilee year also marks the period when I begin transitioning from the summer of my life to its autumn. The spring of my life was the first 25 years. My life's summer period extended from 25 to 50. Now I have reached 50 the wheel of time turns onward and I am now in what I consider my life's autumn time.

As I was born in Autumn if feels possible that this time of my life will a time for harvesting the fruits of my experiences. The time of digging deep and collecting moments.  But this is also a time of remembering and gathering in knowledge and experience and applying  wisdom. Santayana said "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it".  Moving forward I want to avoid just doing the same old same old. 



This is the time to reach forth and take hold of different experiences.  As Czeslaw Milosz said "What is given to have tasted in this life, I have tasted".  So if not now, then when? What is holding me back? Is it false mental images, false fears that I am holding onto? Do I need to spend less time feeding my doubts and more time feeding my faith?

"It is a lonely experience to be at the deathbed of someone who is full of regret; to hear him say how he would love another year to do the things his heart has always dreamed of, but believed he could never do til he retired. " John O'Donohue.



I know of people who once retired purchased a caravan and spent a wonderful year travelling until illness intervened. Did they wait too long to pursue this long cherished desire?  I see a neighbour who has retired in the last couple of years struggling to get up and down the front steps to his home. I see another neighbour who retired in the last couple of years who is now on daily dialysis, and receiving in home care services.


Putting off meaningful experiences until retirement is a risky proposition. Time and tide wait for no man or woman.


21 comments:

  1. So true. It's a good reminder to get out and enjoy............

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    1. And remembering to list ourselves as a priority on our own to-do-lists, so we create the space to do the things we enjoy. They don't have to be big things. My husband and I enjoyed an ice-cream down by the river today. Just a few minutes spent out of our very busy day but so rewarding.

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  2. I really feel there are seasons in everyone's life & that sometimes we wait too long to follow a dream or a deep desire and then later regret that if the time for it has passed. I think too that this constant "bsuy-ness" that so many people feel pushed along by, in today's world, the constant pressure to work and earn more (sometimes just to survive and pay the bills)leaves little time at the end of those exhausting days for dreaming. Meg:)

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    1. Meg, Blogger ate my reply! However the thrust of it was that I think many people don't follow their dreams because they don't know the first steps to take. And the busyness you write about prevents them from spending time finding out how to follow their dream.

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  3. No I don't think it is a good idea to wait for retirement if possible, Sherri. Personally I am sorry I retired when I did but everyone's situation is different and some people do have a wonderful retirement and achieve all that they had dreamed about.

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    1. Chel you are right some people do have a wonderful retirement. But so many people don't make it that far. I think I can manage to include meaningful experiences into my life each week. I won't say each day because so much of my day is spent at work

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  4. Such wise words. I retired 3 times, but each time I went back to work, I was a teacher, I did less hours. I can't remember planning for retirement but seem to have landed on my feet. I met and married a lovely man at 64, then I did give up work. We have travelled together and in fact have been to your neck of the woods twice; we wanted to travel to Italy by 1st class train and did.. at the moment my travelling out of UK is at a stop because of a broken arm, that hasn't healed.. But not deterred I wanted to move to another County in UK where it is more rural and so at 74 that's what we're doing. I haven't waited to do what I wanted. I have seen around me lives stopped in the blink of an eye and I want my husband and I to enjoy all we can.

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    1. Such a lovely comment Chris, thank you. I think your move to a more rural area is exciting, such a lovely adventure.

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  5. I have a friend who started battling her first bout of cancer in her 50's. Which should have been a time for her to fluff a recently emptied nest. So it was a lesson to me that life often happens, when we're busy making other plans. To live in the moment, is all some people have. :)

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    1. So true Chris. But life's busyness and pressures tend to squeeze out that very important lesson and I find I need to remind myself over and over again to be grateful for each day and to stop and recognise the good in my life.

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  6. I look at this a bit differently. When I was full time working, travelling 50km each way to work and home, providing Mums taxi service and generally so busy I checked my garden at night with a torch, I found myself hitting a wall. I decided that I could stop and change tack or I could continue and find beauty and fulfilment within it. I chose the latter and have never regretted it. I am semi retired at 53 and have an older husband who has been deathly ill. We had plans to travel extensively in our van and that is now on hold. He is improving each day and maybe we will be able to travel again. However each ordinary day I find ways to make and have experiences. If I was to meet my maker tomorrow I would have no regrets. I think that this is a choice of thoughts. I have a bucket list but if I don't achieve it all I wont regret it. I don't think I will ever be able to hug an elephant. This is my life and I choose how I view it and what I do.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Jane. I gained so much good from it. I have to remind myself regularly not to react and overreact to things and also to find the beauty and fulfillment in my daily round. And I agree with you it is a choice of thoughts and whether one decides to focus on positive thoughts or negative thoughts. I am glad to read your husband's health is improving daily.

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  7. Life just seems to gallop along so quickly Sherri. I'm so very grateful now, that I took huge risks and did many of the things I wanted to do..living in a different country, travel, etc, but they were not without big sacrifices. Everyone advises to do the things we yearn to do, but we can't have our cake and eat it too. We all must make the choices, and there are times I regret some of my choices, but there's no going back, only forward. Then at some point in our life we suddenly realise that the dreams we had are not going to happen unless we get off our backsides and make them happen, before advancing age and ill health puts a stop to it all. I too am in the Autumn of my life, and it just so happens that Autumn is my favorite season of the year.

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    1. I read a quote earlier this evening that said something along the lines of it doesn't matter how slowly we get where we are going as long as we keep going. I think that sums up my life's journey. I was about 21 when fell under the enchantment of John Seymour's book on self sufficiency. I used to stare at the drawing of the five acre holding, knowing that was what my soul wanted and needed. (I don't mean self sufficiency, but the connection to a more natural way of living.) There have been things in life that have slowed me down on my journey but I have kept plodding on towards that goal. However if I had been less fearful I might have reached the point I am at sooner.

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  8. Great post! I agree that people shouldn't wait until retirement to enjoy themselves, but sometimes it can be hard to find the time and money to follow dreams. I was lucky to have the opportunity to travel a lot in my 20's and now I've become such a homebody, that the thought of leaving my garden for extended travel causes anxiety! We do try to take a big trip once a year for two weeks and then spend shorter long weekends camping and exploring pretty places not too far from home. I also think sometimes the challenge is figuring out what your dream actually is.

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    1. Yes it is a challenge to find out what one's dream is and it doesn't help that we live in a period of unprecedented choices and options. I recall someone once saying we have to be clear about what we want and to realise that to chase one dream we may have to give up on other dreams because we don't have the time and money to pursue both.

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  9. I so agree! I am approaching 50 in a few years and am trying very hard not to look back at all the things I had hoped to do by now, rather focus on what I have done. It is hard though not to have regrets sometimes. So I am trying to convince hubby that now is the time. He is working in a job he hates and I keep telling him it is not worth it. And I watch my parents getting older and getting sicknesses and are now physically unable to do things they wanted to. I don't want to get to that stage, as you say, and have regrets. Maybe I can convince hubby to do the Australia trip while we are still (relatively!) young!

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    1. Jayne if I didn't keep a record of the things I have done I would just wonder if I had squandered my time. But when I look back over my personal journals I see that I have used my time well and would need days of 48 hours to achieve any more. There are so many other things that I would like to find time for e.g. learning how to play the flute and to make silver jewelry, taking off for trips,etc. However I am trying to make sure that every week I am gathering in the harvest that I have already grown, while trying to remain open to new opportunities and experiences.

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  10. Try not to put off, doing the things, which we would really like to do. None of us know, the span, which lies ahead.

    But I don't care for "Bucket Lists" either. They sound a bit manic. Too much checking off. Not enough enjoying. Maybe???

    Whatever... I understand your message. And since I just turned 80... Happily, I am not worrying about "doing more," or "seeing more," now. At this point, I am very happy, to be moving around, on my own turf!!!!!! ,-)))

    Different times of live... Different perspectives... All valid....

    Gentle hugs,
    Luna Crone

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