Happy Birthday Phyllis, Victoria,- and Sally, Jim and Annetta:
Here you are, my peers and as we move into our 70’s, here’s what I see: we turn 50, we reach 60 but we arrive at 70. We bring with us a wealth of experiences, a depth of understanding with greater compassion beginning with ourselves. We begin to know our place is to give what we have, deliciously doing that from the resources which we now can identify and share. Those chapters in our lives of love and loss are now the strength of our character and can move mountains if we so decide to do that. We function really well in groups because we relish the enthusiasm around life that has brought us to this day. That’s why it is that you arrive at 70: you bring it all with you. Now you can see how all the parts fit together: that without what seemed like a difficult and possibly emotionally costly event that changed the course of your life, you never would have made the changes you made. The dead ends, failed relationships, hardened lines drawn were the sign posts that led you to look where you had not before, move in directions you hadn’t considered and find the path that led you to your own integrity, your own particular design of the life you hold so well today.
For the women interviewed about their passage, there are some observations that were commonly perceived and their gift to the world is all they have brought to the table, and it’s considerable since these are the women who lived through the past fifty years of women’s rights, civil rights and the quest to equality as a lifestyle not a concept.
We find each other in all the right places, church, women’s groups, writing groups, YOGA classes, dance groups or in Phyllis’ case in Dragonboat Racing~. Our interests and commitments determine our friends and our paths. We take courses and workshops. We have over the years been to the borders of new beliefs and practices through our associations with groups, and with some lifestyle trainings and courses, such as EST, tantra, Morehouse, ™, Awakening Joy, Wisdom Connection, Women at Woodstock to name some offered in Northern California. These experiences have served to offer the option of deepening our knowledge and practice of our sexuality, spirituality, consciousness raising and politics. There are more doors of interests opening and not less as we arrive at 70. Our time is filled with things we want to do-we wake up early in the morning, too early it feels like sometimes, but it’s because there are so many things we want to do, are thrilled to partake in and our days are full of events and people with whom we want to lives our lives..
Women’s groups have been and continue to be a source of continuing to identify, express and meet new desire and new commitments. Some of us maintain friendship and sisterhood, not particularly identifying as feminists, but truly we have lived the paths of the feminist. We’ve walked through life’s darkest hours together, kept each other company in moving through significant life event. In groups, we are more at home with ourselves, feel more engaged in our lives. It has to be said, that we have been each other’s guides and partners throughout our lives oct often. WE use the conflict and differences we meet as a source of creative solutions. We hear and know each other and are there for each other over decades. It’s like our community is not located in a particular place, but is represented by in the things we are about, the opening of passions and wants that recognized and spoken of are incorporated into our lives.
So happy birthday septuagenerians- Phyllis, Sally, Vivien, Jim and all!
Bring everything you have to this time in your life, it turns out it’s all been useful and a part of the mosaic of who you are. Your value is tremendous, and you are the benefactor of all you have cared about, loved and fostered. It is a fantastic time to be alive.
Only thing is you will like I say be awakened early in the morning with fragments: the things you want to do increase rather than decrease, and there is much for you to do, much for you to contribute. Find an avenue, platform or highway or dragon boat to share the wealth of your knowledge heart and skills. Get out on the tennis court, go out to the dance floor, invest in life around y ou, and bring your friends with you. They will love and enjoy who you are because they see what lies ahead for themselves, a promise of all the living that is there to be lived. They find more of themselves in you being you. Full dial!