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October 3, 2013

Insights and Outbursts: Living in the present moment

When I moved to Rockport in 1986, a friend gave me a plaque with the following wisdom:

“Yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.” (Author unknown)

I love to read and, once I discovered the work of Mary Pipher, enjoyed several of her books including “Seeking Peace: Chronicles of the Worst Buddhist in the World,” “Letters to a Young Therapist (Art of Mentoring) and “The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture.” I’m currently reading “Another Country; Navigating the emotional terrain of our elders.”

An internationally known psychologist, author and lecturer, Pipher has a way of describing life situations that readers often recognize as terrain they’re either already traveling or rapidly approaching.

Almost 20 years ago, at the age of 60, I made my first “Elderhostel” (now called Road Scholar) program – downhill skiing at Sunday River in Maine – and described it as a “second childhood, even better than the first.”

As I prepared last week to leave for my 46th Elderhostel program, “Celebrating the Autumn Tapestry and History of New Hampshire,” I looked forward to being with active people, but realized that 20 years ago, I was what Mary Pipher calls “young-old,” but now am moving to “old-old.”

I’m still healthy, able to travel and participate in enjoyable activities, but as I watch old friends, neighbors and acquaintances fade away, I wonder at times about my own future.

One thing that helps is a gifted therapist/friend I’ve talked to for years, sharing both the highs and lows in my life with her. Talking to someone I trust has always been the best medicine for me.

My favorite time of the day is early morning, before I turn on the radio, TV or computer. A brand new day, it’s a time to begin again, a peaceful time, beginning with a cup of tea at my kitchen table as I watch the sun rise high above the trees around the Mill Pond.

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