"We are all beautiful even as we are all part of the problem, and to be a part of the problem is to be human." -- Anthony Doerr, "Cloud Cuckoo Land"

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Space Between

     I'm in an "in between" spot -- and perhaps we all are. Summer is almost over, but fall has not yet begun. Our children and grandchildren are getting ready to go back to school. I myself am getting ready to tutor underprivileged kids from Philadelphia. I attended my training session, but don't begin classes until the end of September. B and I also teach a foreign policy course at our senior center. We went to the instructor meeting the other day, and now we're waiting for classes to start in a couple of weeks.

     Many of us retirees are between trips. B and I are back from Cape Cod, and we're already starting to look forward to a trip to South Carolina. But all of us are in between, virtually all the time, aren't we? My brother-in-law is waiting for the results of a biopsy. My daughter-in-law is pregnant, on the threshold of having her second child. I guess if we aren't in between, if we aren't transitioning to something, it means that nothing is going on in our lives.

     Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting is in the midst of a two-week project grandsitting her 2 1/2 year old granddaughter. While waiting for the girl's parents to come home, and in between diaper changings, she writes in PETA Set Them Free about a large corporation bowing to the political correctness of 21st century sentiments.

     When the creative well runs dry, and we're struggling in between ideas, we can all use some inspiration. Over at Unfold and Begin, Jennifer has pulled together the websites she goes to when she needs a spark of creativity. You will find links to coaches, TED talks, museums, street art, and even coding sites on her post 15 Creative Websites to Inspire You.

     Rebecca Olkowski with BabyBoomster did some hiking when she was on vacation in Canada, and she realized she wasn't as prepared as she could have been. The experience inspired her to post The Best Gear for a Hike When You're Over 60 -- which might spare some of us that period of time in between the bug bite, fall or sunburn, and the happy time when we're fully recovered.

     And speaking of falls, do you know if your bones are as strong and healthy as they should be? Sue Loncaric, the Australian blogger from Sizzling Toward Sixty & Beyond, points out in Healthy Bones Action Week -- the Recipe for Healthy Bones that more than 200 million women worldwide  -- or one in three women over age 50 -- are affected by osteoporosis. She has some advice for those of us who want to build strong bodies and healthy bones.

     On The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide, Rita R. Robison, consumer journalist, reports in No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe that a new global study makes the relationship between health and alcohol clear – drinking causes substantial health loss all over the world. “The myth that one or two drinks a day are good for you is just that – a myth," says Emmanuela Gakidou, University of Washington professor and senior author of the study.

     But you don't need a mind-altering drug to know that, as Hamlet says to his friend Horatio, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." And it's Carol Cassara of A Healing Spirit who tells us that the power of belief cannot be overestimated. She sees it in action all the time in hypnotherapy, and in Why Believing Is a Good Idea she finds confirmation from Paramahansa Yogananda, an Indian yogi who helped introduce meditation and yoga to the Western world.

     And so back to the theme of "in between." Karen Hume, guest blogging this week on Smart Living 365, offers a post called Liminal Space Is Where the Magic Happens. The word "liminal" comes from the Latin word "limen," meaning threshold. A physical liminal space is a place where we feel uncomfortable or unsafe, like a lonely parking lot at night. Emotional liminal space occurs at points of transition in our lives -- from married to divorced, from employed to retired, from living with children at home to an empty nest.

     Hume, who blogs at Profound Journey, helps us understand that transition -- or the space between -- is much more than simply a change from one state to another. It may be a period of discomfort, even of anxiety. But if we manage the transition purposefully, we can not just survive the finality of one stage of life, but go on to thrive in the next. For as Barbara de Angelis writes, "The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place."


DUTA said...

Retirement period is the last chance we have for a dialogue with ourselves, with our body and soul. The retirees seem to try to constantly escape from themselves, especially through intense traveling and volunteering.

It's OK if the person is fairly healthy and has a lot of spare time. In most cases, however that's not the case. I have an aquaintance, for example, who's overweight and this condition has brought upon her high blood pressure, knee/leg pain, and other chronic illnesses, yet she just takes her meds and goes out to all sorts of places and doesn't really try to solve her source health problem first.
Well, with all due respect to volunteers and travelers - that sholdn't be like that. First things first; listen to your body pal!

Anonymous said...

Wow- nice body shaming DUTA! We always finish a statement about how we would be different with "and we are just so darn perfect!" It helps us put our opinions in perspective.

Rita's article on drinking was a hot topic for my extended family. All are very health conscious - body size is important to them. Most of them drink several times a day. I don't think that finding will change their lives, but it started the conversation.
And thank you for the blog on Liminal spaces. I followed her page to Smart Living and read it fully. She is on to something for me to think through. Lots of my friends are retiring and I think this will be an article to print off and give.
Thank you for your round up. Always food for thought here! ~Janette

Jennifer (UnfoldAndBegin) said...

I see the space between as where we spend most of our life. We remember the big moments like graduations, weddings, births and deaths, but life is lived in between those big moments. great post, I'll be sharing and visiting.

Carol Cassara said...

This is probably the best edition you've had. I love how you introduced each post. Nice! Sharing.

Tabor said...

We tend to glance at the time in between when we are rushing and younger the seasons force us to change gears..but it something that hangs thick when we are retired.

Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com said...

Hi Tom! Thanks once again for including SMART Living 365 in your roundup of great boomer blogs. I agree that Karen's guest post is extremely thought-provoking and something I think all of us share in one way or another. As usual, your roundup is filled with diverse and interesting ideas about our experiences. Thanks again. ~Kathy

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Tom - I agree with Carol. This is my favorite 'Round Up' post so far...and I've truly enjoyed them all. Your introduction to your post, and then to each featured post, was superb! Very effectively done!

Still the Lucky Few said...

This came in just as I was despairing about the lack of anything new about retirement! Great round-up of thoughtful posts, Tom! I've seen one or two, but will be sure to enjoy the rest.