Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shoot for the Moon!

Why is it that so many of us are afraid to reach beyond our normal range?  We settle into our lives, get comfortable with the way things are, and just maintain it.  Then we reach the ripe old age of 40 or 45 or even 50 and we begin to evaluate EVERYTHING.  And it doesn't feel like it's enough or something is just not quite right.  We can't really put our finger on it.  There's a longing for --- something.  But what?  I've heard it explained as, "I was just skimming along the surface of my life.  Now I want to dive deep, deeper than I've every dived before."  Another friend said, "I've raised my kids, I've done my job, now I want to raise me.  For the first time since I was eighteen years old, I want to re-evaluate what I really want."

The reality is, those of us who are "middle-aged" are facing the second half of our lives.  For some this will be a long time.  For others, the time will be shorter.  None of us know exactly where we'll fall between those marks, but the reality of our life span is smacking us in the face and we want to be certain that however long the remaining time may be, it is not wasted. 

For some, it means leaving the confines of the business world, slowing down and enjoying life.  For others, as with another friend, we look for deeper meaning and start a new career in the service of others.  For me, the last few years have been an opportunity to sit back and listen to the inner callings of my heart.  What is it that I feel, that I know, in my soul I'm here to do? 

It's an interesting time in our household.  My son will be nineteen years old in a couple of weeks.  He has chosen not to attend college at this time and to create a technology business with some friends.  This has been a dream of his for several years and we both agreed that this was his moment in time to give it a try.  College is always available should this opportunity not pan out.  He is young with very few responsibilities.  Now is the time!

I watch him in his youth, lashing about, attempting to control things, to make things work his way and I remember myself at the same age doing some of the same things (we didn't have computers and cell phones but the ideas were the same--we were in control, we could make things happen). 

At fifty three years old, I've learned that we really do control our destiny.  What we think becomes our lives.  I've also learned that it's much easier to allow the things I want in my life to happen rather than to try to force the things I want.  Both ways may work, but allowing is so much simpler for everyone involved.  It's a much more peaceful existence, and I'm all about peace at this point in my life. 

Why is it that when we're young we believe that things must happen by force?  When is it that we learn that force may not be the easiest way to accomplish things?  I don't remember when that shift happened for me.  I just know that it did, and I'm grateful!  I've come to a point in my life where I don't want to, or have the energy to, force things anymore.  I'm relieved to sit back and watch as the world unfolds, just the way it is supposed to, and usually to my benefit. 

A good friend gave me a poster many years ago that I have kept on my desk, "Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars!" (Les Brown).  My son is shooting for the moon.  God bless him!  I, also, am shooting for the moon, a little more quietly, but never the less reaching for the same goal. 

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