... so it’s already more than a week ago that I turned 63.
And a full three years since I turned 60. That seemed like such a monumental birthday then. I had just started – for the first time in my life – to seriously exercise because I wanted to enter into my 6th decade with some renewed bodily strength. So I took up personal training (weights and EMS) and later women-only kickbox fitness. And I am still at it. It feels good to reduce the fat percentage in my body while no longer being so totally fixated on the weight (after all, gaining muscle means increased weight – but in a good way, of course). I go twice weekly, recently even three times as I had to drop some fat that built up over the summer. It’s not so hard to stick to it. I DO wonder though, if I get more tired after the work-outs than I used to?!?
The number “63” freaks me out a bit. It’s so incredibly grown-up. And it is so far down the life-curve: way more than two thirds of my life have already been lived. Will I have 20 more years, of which maybe only 10 in a strong body and with an expansive and resilient spirit? I really DO hope that continuing my yoga and sticking to the necessary exercise will keep me off the couch and ready to face my sixties (and seventies and eighties) in a fearless fashion, with “grits and grace”, as a WISDOM WARRIOR! This term was coined by the great yoginis Desiree Rumbaugh and Michelle Marchildon and they have recently inspired me greatly with their book “Fearless after Fifty”.
The day itself
It was great to spend the day with dear friends and it was a fabulous luxury to have in-house catering for the lovely Nepali curry dinner:
Thinking about the passing of time
What throws me for a loop is the fact that time really does seem to go faster and faster.
And my projects? Would they keep me busy if I were to stop working in Duesseldorf?
My support for Nepal is less pronounced these days. I feel a bit of a failure for not having been able to successfully sell my Nepali artist friends' fine works in the Netherlands. The gallery which I ran part-time for 7 years was a bit of an expensive playground after all. And the preschool I helped create in the outskirts of Kathmandu has been sold, my friends who ran it moved on to their dream country Canada. It feels good to have supported them for so many years, and good to hopefully see them “fly” in their new lives. But I have to re-orient myself regarding my involvement in and with Nepal.
Another life-long project has been the study of yoga. Being certified as a yoga teacher and not wanting to stand in front of a class remains a big challenge. I always thought I would just kind of naturally glide over into teaching after stopping with my salaried work. But will I really? The uneasiness of “telling people what to do” continues to be a huge issue.
What do I really like?
In the last few years I have tried to figure out what I REALLY LIKE DOING. Besides reading. And going to yoga class. Besides beautifying my house and creating order in my surroundings.
I’ve learned that I love to take photos and share them (Instagram and Facebook).
I like helping friends build basic websites, but it’s become very clear that I only really love the layout part of it. The design aspect intrigues me, finding the right photos, creating just the right look. But don’t ask me for texts or for the bothersome maintenance of a web presence.
I’ve learned that I have fun being photographed. A number of photo shoots down the road I’ve become quite comfortable in front of the camera, too, not just behind it.
I continue to be seriously interested in interior design, I have even started a course in interior styling recently. But again and again this interest turns a bit sour and feels so superfluous. Yet I am good at it, I really have an eye for making spaces look nice with minimal effort (and I even love hunting down decorative items with a minimal pricetag). Why in the world does this interest of mine not seem “serious” enough when it DOES give pleasure?
I continue to search for meaning in my life. I miss a community of faith, I miss the highlights of a religious year and its celebrations. I have gotten so far away from my (liberal) catholic upbringing, have dipped deeply into Buddhism and Hinduism without ever totally committing myself, am now learning about the Bahai faith. But I am not at home in a real, tangible community. I will be patient. There is time still.
I am happy to be 63.
Eleven years ago I was undergoing treatments for breast cancer. I was never really scared for my life, but that period made me still the more grateful for living well and still the more aware of the impermanence of our lives.
I want to continue to be good to my body so it will be able carry me far into a vibrant, eventful, peaceful later life filled with giving and receiving love.
Beata, all-round encourager:: of art and artists of Nepal, of a preschool in Kathmandu, of the great work of encouragement based on Adlerian psychology and the Theo Schoenaker's concept!