Sunday, December 4, 2016

Catching Up!

I’m catching up! I’ve let many parts of my life lag behind as I begin to piece myself back together.

These past couple of years have changed me.  Turning 60 and feeling the significance of my aging is on the one hand challenging and limiting, and, on the other hand, exciting and limitless. Losing my mother, our last parent to survive, leaves me in a new position in the physical realm of family. I am now one of the oldest of our family. I am accepting a new role as elder and a responsibility to help our ‘future’ transition and grow into healthy human beings.

I have learned to appreciate the simple things in life and to embrace those people and things that want my embrace. Also, I have learned to release those people and things from my life who don’t want to be there, even though I want them there! It is hard to let go of that which I never really had in the first place. I will probably never have them now. I am resigned to that.

With so many life events occurring last year, Paul and I stayed home for the winter and didn’t travel. That’s unusual for us too. Our hiatus created a lag in visiting places where we have never been and revisiting those we have and love. Our ‘bucket list’ has become shorter. We don’t have as much time as we used to. We’d better do the things we want now! Our sense of time and energy is shifting as we age. And the way we travel is changing too!

So…this year of travel is about ‘catching up’.

That's ALL of us!
We have just finished a huge family reunion in Akumal, Mexico with our family of birth. Our 7 children, 6 partners and 4 grandchildren gathered together for a week of resort living in Akumal. We celebrated with gratitude the sale of our house in Toronto where all of the kids were brought up. We had time to ‘catch up’ on relationships, play together and simply enjoy each other’s company.

After our time with our kids in Mexico, Paul and I grasped the opportunity to return to Guatemala where we spent three months in 2011-2012. While living at that time on Lake Atitlan, we also connected with a very special community in Guatemala City. There, we spent many weekends with a group of Latin Americans who have become Jews of Choice. Growing up in various Latin American countries, each of these people were Christian.  Each of them were seeking a strong spiritual expression. Each of them did research to find that expression, and by some chance of God (beshert) found each other. Now they have all come together in Guatemala and delight in their individual lives as well as rejoicing in their lives tightly engaged with their spiritual community. Paul and I loved sharing Shabbat with this group of wonderful, energetic, smart and, oh so grateful people. Catching up with them meant experiencing the growth of their development since five years ago.
The physical aging of the youth and adults, the intellectual expansion of their knowledge about Judaism and Jewish practice, and their increased ability to hold morning service with song, prayer and conversation was so inspiring. And they shared so much gratitude for the times we spent with them the last time we were there and what we were able to share with them.

We’re thinking about catching up with our family and friends in Israel this winter and then to take advantage of proximity to India and catch up with our friends and “family” there. There are so many places in the world I have yet to explore. If I keep going back to the same places, I’ll never see Greece, or Viet Nam, or Australia! And…I also like being at home, and returning to places that already feel like ‘home’. I’m suffering from a real first world problem!

Even my blog needs ‘catching up’. Each year since I began my blog, the numbers of blogs that I post each month reduces. I want to catch up with that too.

I suppose it’s a little bit like closure. Leaving loose ends is uncomfortable, reminding me about unfinished business. I’m thinking that this is a little bit of what getting older is all about…finishing up business so we can clear the paths and make the most of what’s to come……
A Labyrinth.....The Spirit Wa

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