Growing Old is Like a Good Reduction.

May 10, 2020

Growing Old is Like a Good Reduction.

May 29, 2023

It has been a little more than nine months since my MEA experience with my fabulous cohort, SEAN. Like a healthy pregnancy, I’m giving birth to some new thoughts. In my cohort, there were three of us over 70 years old. I could have been the mother of the rest.

My age has given me a particular viewpoint that may be unique. Even though I am active with my career and always looking for new opportunities to be the ‘mentern,’ I also spend time thinking about my final transition!

Richard Rohr, a Franciscan friar and author, calls old age, “Enlightenment at gunpoint.” We spend a great deal of time talking about transition in the workplace, but the same enlightenment, wisdom, and curiosity is essential for planning the final chapters of life. Modern Elder…take five!

I think of growing old like cooking with a reduction method. Whether you’re making a creamy caramel sauce, or gravy for the mashed potatoes it takes time, heat, a little agitation, all while keeping the lid off to achieve the perfect flavor. As I transition to this chapter of my life, I’m focused on letting go of all nonessential and hanging on to everything that enriches my life. Life is full of heated issues and agitation…learning to make something good out of it takes a resilient attitude. And of course, the key is to keep the lid off…don’t get boxed into what you think old age looks like. Growing old is a luxury not given to all, but I’m making plans for rich and sweet.

Connie Mason Michaelis is an MEA alum, seeker, and author at www.justnowoldenough.com.

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