I had a great dinner with my friend Mary – who mentioned she has seen some form of a purpose statement from someone that stated, in my best recognition, “Spread joy, reduce suffering (or eliminate suffering)”. What a great statement – – Spread Joy, Reduce suffering.
Spreading Joy is easy;
– make a lasagna for the firemen in your area
– mow the lawn of your neighbours (Sorry Kate and JM – I have no mower!)
– Drop off cookies or muffins to the elderly couple down the street
– Clean your closets and give those jeans that will NEVER fit, and those shirts that you will never wear….. someone will wear them with JOY
– Offer to walk your friends’ dogs – yes, ALL of them!
– Thanks the cashier and give him/her a $10 tip! Just because….
Reduce suffering is more of a challenge…
– Spend time with those who have no immediate family (retirement homes, hospitals, hospices)
– Call someone who needs a shoulder to cry on, or an open mind… Do it with no judgement
– Donate of your time, of your knowledge, of your blood, of your skills, of your dollars…. but mostly, of YOUR HEART.
It seems my last 3 months have been a wonderfully mixed-up time! I recognize, as a Change Management contractor, that changes have a series of steps.
Immobilization, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing and Acceptance.
You would think that retiring is all about Joy. It is, trust me, it is. It’s a great freeing feeling to know that you can sleep in a bit more each morning, you can shop for groceries at 8:30 AM, you can run to the library at 2:25 PM, and you can stay up late.
Retirement also brings many to realize this is the last traditional chapter in our lives. There are more years behind us than before us. What do they call this? Oh yes, the Sunset years.
So we look back and think at times if we have done what we were meant to do? Have we accomplished what our personal goals were? Have we fulfilled our given mission? Do we even have a given mission?
These past 6 months, I’ve been feeling something different. At a quick glance, it seems to me it’s just the culmination of many things all wrapped up into one. Does that make sense? Who knows, but for now, I can tell you that wings are on my feet.
Yes, wings. Like those of an eagle, a goose or a chikadee. On my feet, as if to make me feel that I can go anywhere. I feel prepared, but with no set expectations. My feet will carry me across those 500 km, but my mind will be open and ready for any experience.
I am somewhat hoping that my “purpose” will get clearer. If I already am living this purpose, well “Houray!” – and if I am to LIVE this purpose, well “Bring it on!” and if I have already lived this purpose, then “Let me live it longer.”