Humans seem to need to set milestones as they navigate through life. So we mark the turning of the sun/calendar into a new year, birth/death and so on.
Two years ago I began life as an 'orphan', although when your parent dies at 90 and you are no longer a child I don't know if that word really applies - but we don't really have another for that life transition.
Since then life has been full of change. I have continued, as best I am able, to live my life as well as I can while also recognizing that I need to also change the expectations I have held for myself for decades. Expectations of being able to work, to live life fully, completely, in terms of goals and productivity.
In many ways I have succeeded, in many I'm no different than I was at 29. I still dream big dreams, tend to set myself big goals. But now I have an inner voice going, what, wait - what are you thinking! I enter this year working on acceptance. That life does not go on forever. That all things come to an end. That plunging into the deep end of the pool becomes less sustainable the older I get.
Acceptance is not giving up, exactly. Acceptance to me is the suspending of expectation that this body will continue to go on as though it was much younger - and fitter - than it is. Acceptance is not trying to push it beyond its endurance. To recognize that it will take longer to heal from injury and to not get upset at the length of time that it will take to do so. (My knee being the case in point - falling in early October, ripping it up pretty badly, only just healed at Christmas.)
Instead of setting myself on the road to big tasks, I work on cultivating contentment with where I am. Tranquility with the way things are. That doesn't mean I neglect progress. After not being able to really weave much for a couple of months I have been slowly getting back to the loom, working on regaining muscle tone. But now my goal is to get to the loom once or twice a day, not 3-5 times. That may come, or it may not. Progress is progress, no matter if it is one step or a dozen.
I have been calling myself semi-retired and getting comfortable with that definition. Still working on it, but when you have done what you love to do for 40+ years, it is also hard to contemplate not doing it at all, which is what 'retirement' would mean. So, semi it is.
As I work on changing my definition of what work means, I find one of the most valuable things I can do is encourage and support others who are younger, fitter, and still have energy. I won't say enthusiasm, because I will always be enthusiastic about weaving.
2019 means that we will get cracking on the conference in June. Semi-retirement for me means I have not come up with any Big Projects to tackle once the conference is over - as I would do, normally.
Instead I will work on lending whatever support I can to those who are taking up the mantle of being the dreamers, the movers and shakers.
Sending best wishes to all.