As a PS to my previous post, I want to add that the way I plan on making the rest of my life "magnificent", will not be by focusing on the 43.? years I supposedly have left, but by living as if today was my last day. I think that is a key to getting the most from life.
Some people experience a 'mid-life crisis' about this time, but perhaps that's just the people who have felt that they have not been able to live authentically so far, that the real them has been hidden by a mask their whole life. The mask of who they think they should be, not who they really are. And of feelings of being trapped by their current position in life and feeling that they have never really lived their dreams.
I have no need for a 'crisis'. I took off my masks a long time ago. I have achieved many of my goals.
I am finding myself reflecting more, perhaps I'm approaching an inner crossroad.
When I was young, I loved the house and the area where we were living. Surrounded by bush, near a creek and a lake and not far from the beach. I imagined that this house would always be my home base. That it would be the place I came home to visit after I had moved out, the place where my children would gather with their cousins, the place where the whole family would sing Christmas carols together while sitting on the verandah or swimming in the pool.
But when I was 13, my Dad was transferred to another area and we had to move. I went kicking and screaming and was a bit of a 'bad' girl for a year or so. But eventually, I started to calm down and regain that sense of security. I didn't find it in the house or in my family, but it came from inside of me. I realised that the move had shaken me off the merry-go-round / carousel that I had been on, and helped me discover the thrill of the roller coaster of life. And that no matter where I went, I'd still have ME.
I became a seeker of experiences of all kinds, I partied hard, I was a fitness fanatic, I scuba dived, went up in a hot air balloon, climbed to the top of Australia's highest mountain, I married, divorced, moved, changed jobs, changed cars, changed hair styles, explored, read, hiked, biked, travelled etc. How lucky am I to have lived on a tropical island?! How many people dream of that?! How lucky am I, that while living there, I reached an absolute realisation that I was Whole...that I didn't need any person or any thing to complete me...and then I met Cary, who enhances my life. He encourages and even fuels the pursuit of my dreams and does not see me as restless or crazy. He sees me as an adventurer on the sea of life, a pioneer in sometimes radical thinking in action, and the lover he has shared other lifetimes with.
So at this crossroad, a part of me is wondering if it is time to settle down- to plan on staying put in one place. I know I've spoken about wanting a little farm for a long time, but do I just idealise the opposite of what I have? (Not that I am doing a lot of travelling at the moment, but we are not sure of where we will be in another 6 months so that holds a similar feeling to travelling.) Isn't that a trick of the ego to keep one from staying connected to our true selves? There are things about having our own place that are very appealing - being able to have pets again, growing our own food - they are the main ones about the actual place. Opening the circle wider, we would also have a greater chance of being a part of the local community, helping and sharing and growing together. I wonder if having a place would give our children a sense of security. What if we didn't keep the place for whatever reason, - would they feel angry that their 'home' had been taken away from them? Or would their years of experience of not staying in one place have taught them that things are just temporary anyway? Would we all become so attached to the place and our 'things' that we forget how connected we can feel to the rest of the world when we don't have a lot of stuff? Can we maintain non-attachment so that our spirits remain free?
I'm concerned that if we do settle, I will feel trapped on the carousel. It's nice and pleasant and has little ups and downs and goes round and round in a predictable manner. Would I miss the thrill of the roller coaster? The loops and curves and ups and downs, but then right back up again, and when the ride is over, screeching in to stop, whooping and with a huge grin on my face saying "let's do it again!".
If we settled and went with the carousel option, we have the chance to build ...I almost said security, but I don't feel like anything is secure anymore. The world is on the brink of major change. I think we would build attachments to the land and the people and animals around us. But people can change. People we thought were friends can decide that they don't want that anymore. The land is vulnerable to bushfire and floods. Animals die. Nothing is permanent.
If we go with the roller coaster / travel option, we have to chance to experience the world. To not be held anywhere by commitments or 'stuff'. Our children get to see so much more, they get to experience different cultures and get a much broader view of life on earth. Does there have to be a goal when travelling? Surely the different experiences gives one a deeper sense of the world that may lead to an expanded sense of the self.
Pros and cons for both. It's time to close my eyes and listen to the song of my soul and see what is sung....
This post has been sitting for several days. I've been trying to feel the best way for us. Every option has an element of risk and a potential for great joy. We get more of whatever we focus on.
I know it's possible to make life whatever I want - thrilling, predictable, or both....it's all in my mind.