We are mid-way into autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. There’s a chill in the air in the evenings and early mornings. There’s a need to seek warmth in another or in memories. It made me reflect on my life journey, this time, my professional journey.
I have worked with people of all ages. There is a certain joy that comes from working with little children and promoting joy in parenting and development. I have worked with troubled teens with behaviours at the pointy end of the pointy end. Challenging as it was being on 24 hour roster, I worked with the program for six years. I now work mostly with children and families and as a consultant to my teams. But, the yearning to work with older adults is always there.
I once worked in a hospital setting where the patients were mostly elderly. It was confronting work. There by the grace of God, go I, crossed my mind frequently. I would see people who worked hard all their life and then struck down with debilitating illness and regret they did not seize the day before this. The job came about in the most extraordinary circumstances and it was my first foray into a medical setting. I firmly believe that job changed my perspective on life. The job was a gift I needed at that time. Once exposed to the reality of other people’s regret, I did not want to waste a moment of my life anymore.
In Bunbury I woke early and would head to Big Swamp. I fell in love with the wetlands. I could no longer go to work without spending just a few minutes here. I’d head to beaches and bush land every single day. I started to view the world and my circumstances in a different way. I started to view myself as a grounded optimist. All because I found the best healing in nature and where I do my reflections.
Everything just fell away when I would walk silently in the bush or by shore. The question I would ask myself is, if I knew it was the last five minutes of my life, what would I do? I found I would have no regrets. I have loved and have been loved. I have children that I yearned for since early childhood who are young adults I am so proud of. I have been able to provide for my family. Who could ask for more?
So this morning I work up happy. The chill in the air reminded me, autumn is a time of change, a time for slowing down, a time when nature reminds us that while youth is crisp and forward thinking, age has its advantages, too. The ‘wrinkles’ of the yesterdays are a comfortable, soft place to land. The vibrancy of ‘the now’ has the power to make one’s eyes glisten and also glow. There is freedom in making tomorrow whatever we want it to be, as one steps out lightly on ‘happy feet’.
For me, in this month of birthday, there is also comfort in the knowledge, although a time of profound change, from now on, as I settle deeper into my nut brown skin, I know, I am in a wonderful place, I am in the space of forever autumn. A space of change. A space of growth. A space of acceptance. And, there’s no other space I’d rather be.
May you, too, find your happy space today and arrive on happy feet.
Until next time
In response to RDP Monday: Foray