At the age of fifty-one I walked away from my long-term marriage. It was time to get out of what had become a “keeping on, keeping on” life that had long ago dissolved into a soul-emptiness of habit and habitat. This took courage and an enormous leap of faith. But as it was a matter of survival, I took the leap and thankfully the faith came . . . and keeps coming.
Changing my life’s order and day-to-day structure also took learning to ask for help. Something I was never too good at. “Because don’t you know, I am an independent, do-it-by-myself type of gal!” Then hands reached out to me, people showed up and with their help I got my butt in gear. Motivation came with the need to get on with it–the need to make a go of it alone, after oh-so-many years of being part of a couple.
Then I took a good look in the mirror and realized that I was no longer the twenty- or thirty-something-year-old young woman that I held in my head. There looking back at me was a woman who had lived many years, had experienced joy and much lost-in-life sorrow. I saw very clearly that I was starting the journey through the last third of my life. And with this clarity, came the questions.
How did I truly wish to live? What were the things that were important to me as a woman and a mother? How did I wish to show up and participate in these years ahead? Somehow, rather than be terrified that the “end was in sight,” a sense of purpose and peace came to me. There were decisions to be made and conscious action to be taken. It was “let’s get a move on!” time.
I sit here now more than a few years into this journey. To date it has been remarkable, at times terrifying, more than interesting and often hilarious. I have come to know this much-older me intimately and well. I also realize with great delight that this journey–this adventure–will continue until I close my eyes that last time. I get to become and create who I want to be with each breath and with each everyday interaction. There is no longer that wide-open, I have “endless time” perspective. My days are numbered and I would like each one to count.
This “older” Robin is who I am. Any “dreams of youth” can be revisited and remodeled as the “dreams of now,” for this precise moment is all I have. And I want to do it well, with the all of me–heart, mind, body and soul–participating. Therein lays the challenge and the true joy of these days, the last third of my life.