I feel good, because my mission is becoming clear…. and we got a hint of what that mission is in the last post. The joy of serious encouragement, even approaching kicks in the pants.
Why does a 75-year old need a mission? Well, apparently I do. And frankly I think everyone does, but they just don’t call it that. I need to be useful, as do the volunteers at the senior center who drive folks to their appointments or the volunteers in the nursing homes to read to folks or the volunteers who run the bingo games on Sunday. Neither a obsessive helper, nor a caretaker, I just have different skills that I truly enjoy using and give me as much joy in the giving as others seem to get in the receiving. So there we are.
One of my 92-year old friends here was talking with me at a lunch we were sharing…(another mission is to listen and learn from those who are older than I…) She said: What do people do who have lost most of their hearing, can no longer drive, and don’t see too well either, to make sure their life is full? Despite her religious practice of tai chi each morning at different places around the building, Kathy appears to be a lonely person, coming out of the loss of her spouse, who did all the organizing of activities in the relationship. So it was a poignant moment and a real question . I asked what her purpose was. She responded with the “I don’t know” gesture.
After the conversation took another turn, I repeated the question as I was also turning it over in my mind. She jumped back in. “Actually, my life would be fuller if I felt comfortable initiating conversations with folks about things I would like to talk about.” A wonderful epiphany and a first expression of taking of responsibility for her own well being. I encouraged her in reaching out despite her hesitancy.
Yesterday, I noticed her in the painting class as one of the newbies, putting herself into the mix to share experiences with other residents.
Yes, my purpose is becoming clear and like everyone else my job is to continue to enrich my life by being in support to others as they try to enrich theirs. Or, at least to notice that my “presence” is already on the job without my awareness.
What’s the way you contribute in the world, without perhaps even realizing it?