My life today is not the one I envisioned 20, 30 or 40 years ago. I’m not standing in judgment of what I’ve done or where I’ve been so much as a taking a look at the paths I’ve chosen or the ones that have chosen me. Kurt Cobain wrote,
I never envisioned getting old. How the heck did this happen! It seems like the phrase “don’t trust anyone over 30” just rolled off my tongue yesterday not 37 years ago. What did I think was going to happen every year when I blew the candles out on the cake! There was always so much to do and so many places to go. “Tomorrow” tomorrow seemed like a galaxy far away.
New Year’s Day has always been my favorite holiday. I would put on the black-eyed peas, get a cup of coffee, find my favorite journal and pen and begin the sweet adventure of envisioning myself at the end of the year. I was usually thinner, healthier, and smarter. Sometimes I actualized some of my New Year’s resolutions and other times not. In reality, achieving the goals was not as important to me as planning them. I loved having the vision of a better me.
Today I am a woman in search of a vision. How do I want to spend the last 30+ years of my life? What do I want to accomplish? What goals do I want to set? I always loved what I call the “big” goals. Thirty-five years ago I reached my goal of running a marathon. Twenty-three years ago I received my doctorate. I have to remind myself that my goals don’t have to be “can you top this” type of goal.
Almost ten years ago, as a result of one of life’s curveballs, I left academia and the business world with serious questions about my ability to do work that required mental, psychological and intellectual prowess. Becoming a personal trainer was never a life-long dream. It was a desperate act to find rewarding work that would not cause another mental or psychological downward spiral. It was all about physicality.
When I began thinking about getting certified as a personal trainer, I was very concerned that my brain wouldn’t function well enough to pass the requisite exams. But here I am at age 67, a certified personal trainer with nearly ten years of experience.
A central theme of my life vision today is to help other people, especially those over 50, live healthier and fitter lives. As much as I appreciate the joy my hours with clients in the gym give me, I still feel that I haven’t quite identified my true vision. I think there is something more out there for me. Perhaps I worry that I may not be physically able to be a personal trainer forever. When those thoughts come, I remind myself to stay in the moment and experience gratitude for what I can do.
For now, I am on a vision quest—living each day with my spirit open to whatever insight comes.