Saturday, February 1, 2014

Crossroads of Life


Dear Friends,

I am at a crossroads--the intersection of Aging and Productivity. One road leads uphill, the other down. After seven plus decades of life, what does God expect of me? What can I expect of myself?

I love productivity--projects. Nothing makes me happier than to have articles to write, a new retreat theme to work on. But my productivity has decreased. It’s hard to find writing assignments that appeal to me. If I write, I want to write something inspirational, something that will encourage others. But what shall I write about and who will want to read it?

The aspects of aging now take so much of my time: exercise sessions, doctor’s appointments, cooking meals. Everything takes longer. There is little time left over to “produce” anything. How do I find balance? What is realistic, at my age, at this stage?

Although I don’t climb stairs as fast as I used to, I want to keep my mind nimble. The professional aspects of my life enrich me and provide that mental stimulation I seek, so I don’t want to give up writing or speaking. To that end I also watch DVD’s of college courses on writing, speaking, nutrition, the mind. Right now I’m watching one on communications. I love www.TheGreatCourses.com.

Maybe it’s because I was a business education teacher, but I like to have something to show for my efforts at the end of the day—pages typed, chores checked off, things accomplished. I don’t like puttering around my house. Right now I need to put away pictures that my husband took down to paint a hallway. Ugh. I hate the thought of packing them up.

So what brings satisfaction at this stage of life? Maybe instead of becoming frustrated with aging and my lack of productivity, I need to re-establish a workable schedule. I think the most satisfying life for me would be to set the alarm for 7 a.m., have devotions, eat breakfast and work in my office before going to exercise sessions. After lunch I could write, actually put words on paper, for two hours, then do the laundry, cook supper, etc. That would make me happy. I’ll try to stick to that schedule this month.

What intersection are you facing? Leave a comment so we may encourage each other as we drive along on this journey called life.

Here’s a special offer: Since both Sisterhood of Faith and Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides make great gifts for women and Valentine’s Day is coming up fast, I would be happy to give you both for $30. In bookstores, you would pay $24.99 for Sisterhood and $17.99 for Guilt Trips, which totals $42.98! To take advantage of this February offer, just e-mail your name and address to me at sbrosius@epix.net. If you want the books personalized, include the first name of the person to whom the book should be autographed. Be sure to indicate which title for which name. I’ll send out the books and include an invoice. I’ll even pay the shipping. Sisterhood tells the story of 365 inspirational women, and Guilt Trips tells personal stories written by Janine Boyer, Kim Messinger and me. Both are meant to be read a page a day for inspiration. Who do you know who might be blessed by one or both of these books? Looking forward to hearing from you.

Shirley



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Health problems forced me to slow down too. I think women put too much pressure on themselves to be productive. We often achieve far more in a day than what God expects. Slowing down has forced me to see that my worth doesn't come from my achievements. It was a hard lesson though because our culture tells women that they have no value unless they are busy and making money. I felt worthless when I couldn't work, but God taught me the truth about what makes me valuable.

Lanita said...

Excellent description of my own experience! I now have a lower expectation of my own "productivity."

My schedule is very similar. I now marvel at all my children can accomplish--and know I used to do the same.

I'm reassured by the friendships I maintain and the mentoring I enjoy. I realize that sometimes a phone call or a conversation is outstanding productivity.

Shirley Brosius said...

Thanks for your good thoughts, Ladies. Excellent points well taken. This morning a devotional by Galen Dalrymple included a visual of the words Disappointment (equals) Expectations (over) Reality. I found that insightful. I need to be realistic or I will surely be disappointed.