Dancing through the Decades
Put on your party hats—we're celebrating a couple of birthdays. First of all, HeartWood turned two years old on February 10. Can you believe it?
And yesterday, I turned . . . somewhat older than two.
As my birthday approached, I reflected on previous birthdays and the many days between all those birthdays. That train of thought gave me an idea for this post: write about one important lesson learned from each decade of my life.
Easy enough. Or so I thought until I sat down and tried to choose one bit of knowledge or wisdom from each decade. Not so easy. For instance, how do you select just one essential thing that you learned between the ages of 10 and 20? There were so many—from the practical (driving) to the spiritual (oh, those many, many Bible verses in Baptist Sunday school), with all sorts of others in between, some learned in classrooms, others by experience.
So while it may not be possible to pick the essential lesson from each decade, I've tried to select one enduring lesson from each of those time spans.
Here's what I came up with:
By age 30, I had my life more or less mapped out. Then one day I looked at that map and went: Wait a minute—I'm going where?? I don't think so! The problem was, going a different way meant leaving a long-term relationship, stepping off a professional track, moving to a part of the country where I never imagined myself living—in short, heading a completely different direction with no guarantee it was the right one.
Yet some internal stirring urged me to go for it. I did, and I've never regretted it. That bold move led to a rewarding career in journalism, a new trove of treasured friendships and world-expanding experiences, and eventually, the satisfying life I'm living today.
Lesson: There's life after loss
Lesson: Stay flexible
Lesson: It's never too late
As I read this in Florida, high of 87 today, I am awed at all you have done. This might be my favorite yet.
Thank you so much, Nancy! I guess one benefit of advanced age is having a lot to reflect on!
Nancy, it has been a blessing and privilege to have shared decades 2-7 with you. Thank you for giving me something to focus on during this difficult time. I, too, will now reflect upon my decades.
The blessing and privilege have been mine, Cindi. I'll be interested to hear about your reflections.
Such good lessons.
In my teens, I learned to kiss..
In my seventies, I say, "keep moving."
Good lessons, George!
What a beautiful glimpse into a beautiful person !!!!!
Certainly made me think about my life today.
Great spiritual challenge for the day...to reflect
I know for sure you've gained a lot of wisdom over the decades, Sandra. I've appreciated you sharing it with us through your writing and music.
We all are delighted to have you and Ray with us in this wonderful community.
This was beautiful insight into your life. and prods me to write about my decades.. it's never too late...
True words, Valerie. And I know you have a lot of interesting experiences to write about!
I loved this peek into your life goals and accomplishments. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks, Susan. I know we've traveled some similar paths.
You have indeed gone off the rails at many places in your life and you document the results with heart and honesty. Beautiful prose.
Thank you for the kind words, Ruth.
I am so touched by your story. It's your best post yet! I am happy to be one of the many friends you've acquired and nurtured along the way.
I'm so glad our paths crossed (and haven't diverged)!
Your honesty shone all through this and provokes me to reflect more on my life. I loved the photos of you embracing your girlfriends in your Brownie Group. Same tilt of the head. You have just grew more beautiful as you've grown wise.
After my last attempt at trimming my hair, my bangs look pretty much like that childhood picture, too! Thank you for the lovely thoughts. I appreciate your take on life, too.
What a touching and inspiring post today. Life is like a roller-coaster. If it were more like a merry-go-round, life would be pretty boring and with no life lessons along the way. I think we are wiser at this age, don't you? Got a kick out of the photos. I remember some pics of me similar to yours in the early years. This is the time of life we ALL need to sit down and write or record our experiences for family and future generations. Your memoir is beautifully written and a treasure for all of us.
Well, I HOPE we're wiser at this age, because I shudder to think how unwise I was in my youth! (I left out some of those lessons.) I agree with you that it's important for all of us to record our experiences and lessons, whether or not anyone else ever reads what we write.
What a great time capsule of your life’s journey, Nancy. You have grown through it all in ways that keep you close to those who have had the pleasure of knowing you, and your love of writing keeps it flowing and endearing.
I'm glad we were travel-mates on one of the best parts of that journey, Pili.
Happy Belated Birthday, Nancy! Loved all the pics, particularly the one with you in the kayak. You inspire me to be more. Love you. m
You inspire me, too, Margaret. We're a mutual inspiration society.
Great job, Nancy. I agree with all the points your made and I have one more decade on you! I am always touched by your writings, just as I am by my sister, Margaret’s. I think it is especially poignant that as we grow older, we find that while we truly loved those we lost, we find that life has a way of proving us to find and make the best of all that besets us. Thanks again for sharing this with me.
Well said, Val.
What a beautiful stroll through your life. It’s engaging, reflective and beautiful, just like you!
I thought I knew all about you from reading the draft of your book but I learned new things. What you do Nancy is to challenge each one of us to look back at our own lives because it helps us learn and map out our future. Thanks for the inspiration ❤️❤️😺😺🌺🌺
Thanks, 😺! ❤️❤️❤️
Dear sweet cousin Nancy,
I loved reading your reflections of the decades of your life! So sorry but Happy Belated Birthday 🎂❤️
Thank you, dear Martha. Many happy memories of times with you as I look back over those decades. ❤️
I knew I was behind on reading your blog, but I had no idea I was this far behind--and that is scary. So much time has passed this winter and spring with me seeming to be on constant 'catch up' and care giver mode, I haven't taken time to reflect on much of anything! Somewhere along the decades I missed out on learning risk taking and bravery, Thanks for this post. Though I was late reading it, I think today was the perfect time to discover it.
Thanks for taking the time to catch up on these. Glad you found something that felt relevant here.
Leave a Reply.
from the heart of the woods
Nan Sanders Pokerwinski, a former journalist, writes memoir and personal essays, makes collages and likes to play outside. She lives in West Michigan with her husband, Ray.
Last Wednesday Wisdom
Return To Paradise