Finding Purpose at 60

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You know when you reach a certain age your perspectives on, well everything… change. Money is no longer the priority. Family is grown and moved away (actually mine is on a road trip being a gypsy), and even friends take a back seat to everyday life.

Forshutterstock_85004845 the past six months, I’ve sat or paced the floors. I work from home and love it, but sometimes it is difficult to just get up and move. Every day starts with the same routine; feed the animals, make coffee, watch a cooking show, check Facebook, emails, and any other social media avenue that provides me with distraction. And yes, I remain in my jammies more days than not. That’s the  best part of my job.

I have the hours I need to bill out down to a science and know that there are more hours in a week to play than I need to work…so play is the goal of the day. What should I do today? Shopping, Reading, Volunteering at the Zoo, Bowling, Movies, Dancing, Karaoke, Hanging out with friends? None of this really appeals to me anymore.

What the hell do I want to do with the rest of my years? What do I want to learn or re-learn?  Bottom line…what makes me happy?

At my age, and trust me it’s just a number, society starts to look at you differently. Yes, you have experience but you’re gray…you’re old.  A fine figure, a little arthritis, but put some lipstick on and oh baby…  I miss working with a team of people. The talking and idea making and having lunch together a few times a week. The flip side is ‘management’ still thinks most women (not all) just don’t understand business so they tend to stifle opinions. But this isn’t about glass ceilings and stupid men whose egos refuse to accept the fact that women are really making all the decisions; we just let them think it was their idea.

Shit, I’m too young to collect social security, but it looks like there isn’t any left anyway.  Sure hope you younger wage earners have a back up plan.

2013 Congressional Budget Office Report on SSI Projections

2013 Congressional Budget Office Report on SSI Projections

That’s an eye opener; work for 40+ years, no savings, late-in-life student loans, and no steady paycheck. What happened to retiring at 50 with a pension?  Ha ha…maybe if you’re in politics. Found this chart interesting. So if I default on the student loans will ‘they’ reduce my SSI paycheck to offset their loss?  Maybe I shouldn’t say that here, but it’s clear they already spent my contributions on someone else.  Who knows maybe  I can charge them interest or we could just make a better deal.

Ok, not going to take on a corporate job paying $$ and not going to work at Walmart either. I’ve got at least two more years before I can collect the ‘temporary forced retirement money’ I’ve  been paying into for decades. So what is a girl to do?

What ever the hell makes me the happiest–that’s what!

The wonder of reaching an age beyond shots at the bar gives me a lot of very cool memories.  So I took a little journey.

What I’ve 20150710_151458discovered that gives me a reason to get up and move is quilting. Yes, I know this is a huge shift in topics. But I discovered that when I am playing with textiles, I am the happiest.

I’ve always known this, but the other day I found out that choosing colors and patterns friggin cleared my head.  My mind actually worked better. I was thinking again, and the ideas were as clear as if I was reading a book. It was a form of brain exercising that wasn’t online or flash cards. I had to use every sense I was given, including hearing myself scream when I cut the fabric crooked. My math teacher would have been proud of my use of fractions and angles.

So…I am not a great quilter, but I’m learning. I have the ability to make something beautiful and simply give it away, or I can chose to sell them on my Etsy shop.

Find what makes you happy and gives you purpose. It doesn’t matter what that is, just as long as it gets you to turn off the TV and turn up the radio and roll down the windows.  Take the first step and then go rock life!

In the Summertime: Turn it up and roll down your windows.

Dad’s Final Lesson

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jjoyv:

There are many moments in our lives that we miss. Sure we live them but those little lessons often show up much later in the day or year. This post is about those moments. Those Life Textures that we all have.

Originally posted on Morning Story and Dilbert:

Morning Story and Dilbert Vintage Dilbert
July 11, 2011

“Meg, we need to talk.”

“Sure thing, Dad.”

My father and I had been sitting on the couch watching TV together and I knew he meant business when he muted the TV.

“As you know, I have been to the doctor several times over the last few days, and well Meg, I have a brain tumor.”

“Okay,” was all I could say.

“Just okay?”

“Yep, just okay.”

Of course he proceeded to explain to me the generalities, to which I offered only a nod. Looking back on that conversation, I didn’t know then what a big impact that moment would have on my life.

At the time I thought to myself, “Brain tumor — no biggie for Dad. If Mom can beat cancer, he can beat this.” Now I look back, thankful for my innocence.

It was the second half of my senior year, that…

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Have you ever captured someone’s story in mere words?

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Eagle Nest Butte South Dakota; Photographer–Me

We are a compilation of a million memories–journeys.  Each take us down a path, wander around a stream of thoughts, and often bring us to our knees. My hope is to capture that journey and turn it in to an expression of art using textiles of all kinds; Journey Cloth. This is the first one as translated into words.

Michelle’s Journey

When the dawn appeared  a prayer was realized. I ran through the fields without worry and became one with the creator. The story continues and encompasses the souls who struggle with human existence. The emotions overflow into the cup of humanity. It washes their minds and clears the fear. Creator I am humbled before you and have turned away from the human wants and desires. I am but a vessel for your work. Thank you. To realize that I am that I am and will always be–Your Servant.

Michelle is an artist, a sun dancer, a mother, and a friend. She lives modestly and spends most of her hours helping others through their emotional challenges. Michelle is a counselor, a coach, an herbalist, a healer. All of this and she still finds time to volunteer, sew quilts (one a month believe it or not), pours a community lodge 4 hours from home, and have me over for dinner every now and then.

What words define who you are? ja09_books_creative_writing