An issue that continues to haunt me is that big enchilada question: what's the meaning of life? It is a frequent topic of discussion as we jounce along in Thistle. "Is this even the right question?" Ed queries, "Instead, should we be asking, how do we create value in our lives?" Oh yes, now there's a question that has some hope for an answer.
In my trendsetting age-group, we seem to be venturing out on yet another trendsetting excursion -- meaningful retirement. We will not quietly fade away, settling into a recliner with a remote control. For many of us, more so than previous generations, health, longevity and money stretch out before us, right along with the desire for fulfillment.
Historically, all generations have been set adrift in a sea of unstructured retirement but my generation is looking for more. We desire a retirement beyond comfort and mere entertainment. Something beyond the long held idea of simply staying amused and out of the way, as we await death. I see my peers seeking feisty over dull; accomplished over settled; independence over helplessness.
I feel an aha at the idea of structure being a key to filling my aging years with relevance. This has led me, personally, to reexamining not only what I do, but how I do it. I turn my attention to discipline. A walk a day, before coffee. Less, much less Facebook. Knowing more about the places we visit -- more studying, more observing, more questioning. Selecting increasingly weighty reading and definitely more biking.
Then I shift my attention to a skill I've wanted to develop for years -- sketching. On our most recent Thistle adventure I had all the tools -- pencils, pens, watercolors, brushes, sketchbooks, and even how-to sketch books -- but sketch creation was pathetic. If I could find a distraction, I did.
Here's my plan: A sketch a day and one blog posting a week that includes a sketch. Surely, insuring my public embarrassment if I don't perform, will be the kick in the butt I need.
"The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time."
- Mary Oliver