Brenda jumped in.
“Most of us spent years imagining a new bright life in our future. I don’t want (or need) us to leave absolutely everything behind. To do so can dishonor the best of who we’ve been and what we’ve done. I don’t want (or need) to bring absolutely everything forward with us regardless of how well it worked in the past. You, and we, have some individual and collective sorting to do."
“My turn again”, I said, “The real opportunity doesn’t lie in Total Reinvention OR in Hanging Onto Everything. The real opportunity lies in the one-day-at-a-time, rich and hard work combination of:
1. releasing with appreciation who we were, what we were good at, and what we did when those won’t be of significant value to us (or could even get in our way) in our future after age 50;
2. bringing forward who we were, what we were good at, and what we did ONLY when those will be of significant value to us in our future after age 50;
3. identifying and acquiring the skills and agility we’ll need each day of our bright new life; and
4. creating a personal (and couple) long term plan which will be as adaptable each day as we need to be, when facing the realities we plan for and the ones that will arrive without notice."
"You’re right on schedule, Brad. Everything you are experiencing is normal and OK. Some fear can be healthy if it’s about the right things in the right amount. Some impatience is inevitable. Time takes time. You fill in the platitude. Are we getting through to you?"
“Most of all get off your back. Take a deep breath. Think about what you need to release with appreciation, what you need to bring with you, what skills you need to acquire that are new, what your plan (and your plan with Brenda) is, and be prepared to be both skillful in accomplishment of your plan and adaptable when surprises happen. It’s called your new bright life.”
“OK. I’m willing to start sorting”, Brad said, “but I was really hoping you could save me from anything resembling this much work. You and Brenda have convinced me I need to begin at the beginning. When Brenda and I are done with the first round of sorting, we’ll come on back to see you and celebrate.”
Brown Eyes came into the family room just after Brad had left.
“What was that all about? she asked.”
“Just one normal guy (and his supportive wife), arriving with his integrity under one arm and his anxiety under the other,” I replied. “Without Brad and Brenda I might not have had today’s exposure to what heroism on the road to a new bright life can look like.”
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Talk to you soon, George