Productivity The Writing Life Thoughts

Starting Anew

Sometimes, you just have to start over.

Like the other day. I had been working on a project, and could not make any headway. I concluded that I was on the wrong path.

So, I started over. Clean slate.

Sometimes you figure it out and get into the groove. But, if you stay in the groove long enough, it turns into a rut. Nobody likes being in a rut. So, you start over, try something new.

Each new day is a start-over opportunity. But, the new day might not have enough variation available to actually start anew.

Sometimes,you have to chuck it all and do it from the beginning.

Like us.

We’re in our twilight years. We’re old. We’ve had a full and satisfying life.

But, we’ve been here, in this house, for over 40 years. We’ve grown accustomed to our routines and habits. We drift, not navigate, the days.

Time to start over.

We all live life in chunks. Or phases. Or stages of life.

We spend our first couple of decades growing up. Physical and mental growth are the highlights of this stage. We morph from infants to children to teens to adults, and we have fun along the way.

The second couple of decades are for family. We start our own. We birth and care for our children, seeing to it that their first couple of decades are successful. That they, too, grow up to be adults. We enjoy the struggles, challenges, and triumphs that parenthood brings. We start a career that will support this stage of life.

The third set of decades are for stabilizing our lives and careers. We know more, have done more, and we earn more. Our finances are not burdened any more with the expenses of raising the children, and we can really feather our nests, empty though they are. If we’re lucky, we have oodles of grandchildren (not grand-puppies) to spoil. Our social circles change. Our bodies are beginning to slow down, and we might take up a sport to compensate. We can definitely afford to live differently than we did a few years ago.

That fourth set of decades is supposed to be for retirement. We set aside our daily grind and settle into a hammock or walk a golf course, or go fishing. This is what we spent the previous decades in pursuit of. Retirement.

Lastly, is the decline to that final sleep. What’s on the other side? Nobody knows. We only have faith that what we expect will actually be there, and that we aren’t surprised.

But, what happens if all these phases are out of whack? What if you get sick, or lose that comfy job, or they quit making buggy whips? What to do?

You start anew.

You take some new courses and learn a new skill or two. You venture into self-employment and become your own boss — and employee. You move to another part of the country where the jobs are.

You make changes.

So, this is what these aging ex-hippies are doing.

We have had a successful life. We have oodles of grandkids. We have plenty of money. We like to travel.

So, we bought the farm. Not the metaphorical farm, but an actual 4-acres out in the country. We’re heading back to the earth.

Talk about starting anew!

I have filled my days in anticipation of the move — and the life, that awaits us.

I have had thoughts of tractors and chainsaws, and hay bales.

And I will have to be stronger than I am now to survive the rigors of keeping a farm running. My feeble body will have to bulk up.

And I’m old.

What were we thinking?

That we needed a major change in life to kick-start a new day, a new dawn, a new life.

And we’re feeling good.

By John Larson

John is an experienced small business owner, management consultant, project manager, and family man. John has been married since 1967 to the same beautiful bride. He has two sons and eight grandchildren. He makes his home in Carlton, Oregon, USA.

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