Starting Out in the Evening

amazing photo by my niece Elizabeth

This year is one of my “decade” years — I’ll be turning 60 in September.

Actually, I find it hard to believe. Is it possible that so many years have slipped under the bridge?

The title of this post has been on my mind for weeks, the way that a line from a song can take up residence and repeat over and over and over again. Besides being a movie title, the phrase “starting out in the evening” feels full of promise. The way I see it, my plan to live into my nineties puts 60 as only two thirds of the way along. Delicious.

As some of my peers are preparing to retire (or already have!) I am busy imagining new careers for myself. Thus the starting out…

But there is another piece to the evening part. When I started my canvas business, I worked two jobs. Sailmaking was my day job and sewing canvas was my evening job. I had plenty of energy for both. But when I suggest to myself working days and nights again, the sparks fly!

Because living vitally into old age also means balancing doing and being, a consideration that didn’t enter my mind when I was in my twenties.

Now I require resting places in my days. And resting places in my weeks. It’s not so much that I can’t work long hours, but that I won’t. Which makes changing careers tricky business. How do I take my love of lifelong learning and my love of change and build a life I can sustain? How do I pace myself for a long trajectory?

That’s where the title comes in handy. I repeat it in my mind as if I am trying on a new outfit. I taste it as one might savor a new wine. I listen for inner dialogues in response.

In my twenties, my life was all about adding things. As I approach sixty, it’s all about subtracting things. About honing in on meaning. About removing distractions that don’t feed me. About examing my relationship with ambition.

It’s a newer, updated version of “just say yes”. Starting out in the evening also implies that I have taken the whole day to pause before beginning…

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3 Responses to Starting Out in the Evening

  1. Denise says:

    As I finish reading your wonderful words, I wonder if you have ever considered writing a book. Hmmm maybe that could be your new adventure….

  2. Carol says:

    Sounds like you are about to make an about face. I’m very interested in the possibilities you are considering.

    In some ways, I still am in my 20’s… OK, maybe 30’s. I’m constantly striving to simplify, but have a hard time identifying the “distractions that don’t feed me”. I need your help with that one.

    Denise is right, maybe you should consider sharing your gift of capturing the exact right words.

    Nice post, as always.

  3. You are both so kind and encouraging! Let me just say that the only way a book will happen is one weekly post at a time…

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