Sunday, July 10, 2011

Body Surfing for Boomers

Camille ... 

Although it was on-the-beach in Troncones, Mexico-margarita-fueled, I still consider this to be one of those divinely inspired moments.  You know, when Spirit is speaking, and you are listening.  A small fishing/surfing village, Troncones seems to cater to the older population, but don’t let this fool you.  When it comes to crystal clear water and very decent bodysurfing waves, us of a certain age come alive with the strength and vigor of youth.  It was during a refreshing margarita break that I heard the words ‘body surfing for boomers’,  and in that moment,  I knew this was something to remember, in spite of my liquid of choice.  I spent the rest of the day considering this while surrendering to the will of the waves.  And thus, my return home to our rented casa began our ongoing conversation about life and body surfing as metaphor.

For those of us familiar with the ocean, we have a basic working knowledge of tides and currents and weather patterns.  We know that ocean activity changes from quiet and tranquil to exciting and challenging to thunderous and wintery.  Just like life.  We have our cherished quiet moments when the ride is easy, relaxing and supremely fulfilling.  And then we don’t.  Our days, energies, thoughts and emotions are consumed with situations that require clear thought, precise skill and a present moment awareness in order to avoid a total beating.  But if these skills are used, the ride can be the thrill of your life.  Unfortunately, our first years together were spent in a sea of events that no amount of time in the ocean could prepare us for.

Our first conversation about "body surfing for boomers"  began with a critical review of our past 7 years together and how we spent the first 4 years riding tsunamis.  These frightening and potentially devastating waves appeared in the form of child custody issues, bankruptcy, a very lengthy lawsuit, job loss and all the hidden drama that forces its way into every moment of life. 

The one belief that sustained us through this period was to let our values drive our responses and our actions.  It was an arduous process of letting go – as much as possible – of the anger, resentment and – most of all – fear that we felt so often.  It asked of us that we take that energy and direct it into knowing that the outcome would be in everyone’s best and highest good.  These waves were tremendous and how we survived them was not to fight, resist and attempt to control, but to surrender to the moment and let it take us where it wanted.

Two years later, after my margarita inspired epiphany,  Scott and I decided that we wanted a life makeover, well he wanted an overhaul, so we set the goal of moving to Maine in the fall of 2011.  We would take a ‘gap year’.  Certainly a year of NOT WORKING, relaxing, playing, creating, staying in bed on a cold rainy/snowy day watching videos and eating Chinese food out of the carton (Scott doesn't share in this part of the’s all mine).  But most importantly, allowing ourselves the freedom, time and space to create what’s next for each of us.  After 40+ years in the job market, we want our own gig.  We’ve had so many ideas of why and how we could spend the rest of our lives.  We have all the skills and resources necessary to create work that is fun, fulfilling, satisfying, makes a difference and is financially rewarding and to create it in a way that allows for life the way we want it. 

This has been our ride for the past 10 months.  It has been gentle in comparison, yet still the waves have required that from time to time, we wear masks, goggles, fins and a snorkel.

Riding the waves can involve a number of vehicles.  There are surf boarders, there are boogie boarders, there are jet skiers.  What’s your vehicle for riding the waves in your life?    

We’d love to get your feedback on our “journey” as well as hear about your own journey in new directions.  Please use the comment section below to share your thoughts and ideas.

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