There is that memory. In the canoe with safety drifting past consideration. 20 years ago, when balance and ease of movement were a given, a gift taken for granted. It was a crisp day in Florida filled with more light than you would think possible. Not the usual steamy soft air of this region.
When did that mobility and spontaneity slip away into this blissfully comfortable existence within un-comfortable bodies? The irony of retirement is that it delivers the most free and flexible phase of life - just as our bodies and minds have denied both.
And where is the canoe? Gathering moss beside the house, unused since that luscious afternoon on the lake. The thought: "oh, that's why he won't sell it". It only came to mind this morning, as we plan a rare date to go fishing. I've labeled the mini excursion "romantic" to assure it is the two of us without our fab friends. These days it seems only under duress that we leave the comfort of our kindles and anti-gravity chairs to venture out socially. I don't recall the last date night out alone. Those seem to be reserved for our friends with children and grand plans in their life.
Before this comes across as too pitiful, I must mention that we just returned from an adventurous vacation in the Baja - scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, hiking. We are not fully into our sunset days - and don't intend to go there. Neither of us is actually retired, but our idealistic lifestyle on the river gives that impression. We are incredibly grateful for all that has come our way after 40 - leaving the angst of our earlier lives behind.
Why, after 24 years together, are there still interactions that don't meet our mutual expectations? That's easy - and true of nearly every one of you. Our inner actions ie. responses, are dominated by expectations, often conditioned by our lives. Whether your expectations are high or low, they are nearly always accompanied by "niggles". Niggles of uncertainty - not the best fertilizer to the thoughts that attract goodness into our lives. The most daunting of niggles, is fed by the desire to have our partner's mind, and thus behavior, respond just as ours would. That would truly make for a life of ease - anticipating each other's every thought and move. And possibly not be very interesting as an end result. When you no longer have the energy to live fully, then that predictability may be a logical path.
We, however, continue to choose the wild ride that our Love holds together in our safe zone, knowing the extremity of our differing minds. It is often challenging - but never personal. It is fun, passionate and productive - except when it is not. We have been greatly rewarded for our efforts and faith, once we allowed the reality of who we are, and understood that we are, genuinely, fully responsible for everything in our lives. And now, it's time to take action for those areas where our attention has dwindled.
Alone is so much safer than together, right? Together we ventured out in that canoe, covered the bases for an amazing day dancing with mutual expectations. Alone would also be amazing, with more ease - with egrets and herons, fish jumping, water sparkling. But when the alligator arrived, sounding like the pull of a motorboat engine starting, my vote is entirely on togetherness. I'll never know if we were truly safe, but the natural talents of my husband included quietly maneuvering away, while assuring me all is well. My trust knew no limits. Until, a few years later, there was a shark encounter. But then, that is another story.
(post article update - no bites, but a sweet day on the water, greeted by Manatee.)
Writing to you, knowing how unique our viewpoints may be. When resisting, ask yourself "What Else is Possible?". My experience and personal truth in any moment is just that - mine for you to consider. All Things are Possible - ATAP