Life’s frame

We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny, but what we put into it is ours.

This week I reached my 60th year! No one can describe what 60 will feel like any more than they can describe 25. But oh how amazing it is to have reached that day. Ask anyone in my family and friends they will agree – I LOVE to celebrate my birthday. When the pumpkins are carved and candle-lit on neighborhood porches I begin anticipating its arrival. Almost like a pre-party, I feel the excitement as children (both young and young-at-heart) sport their Halloween costumes and collect the sweet delights waiting in doorways and homes.

To my surprise this birthday has been more emotional than I expected. Memories have been sharpened as I have rolled through the years that brought me to now. So many moments – sometimes seconds – could have turned my life in such a different direction. Adapt and adjust – this has been my pattern for living. I have always tried to focus on gratitude whatever the situation. Often this has been easy as I have traveled, studied, worked and played in some amazing places with equally amazing people.

My independence may rely on others yet I claim it as mine always ready to consider new opportunities. In the difficult seasons I have been blessed with the care and attention needed to regain health and strength. And there have been some challenging times – no need to list the details but just to say I have experienced plenty of life changes. Some which may have slowed my pace but never kept me from reaching out for ways to stay connected and creative.

Maybe I am not so surprised to experience emotion on this birthday. There is much to remember, times that shaped my life in unexpected yet grace-filled ways.

As Dag Hammarskjold is quoted, we may not choose destiny’s frame but how that frame is filled must be of our doing. My frame has been challenged to hold an abundance of experiences that make up my life’s story. It has more to hold as hours move ahead into days and years.

I am grateful for this pause to give thanks for all I’ve experienced in my journey to ‘now’.

60- who can ever guess what this day will feel like?! With a rush of gratitude I check to secure the corners of ‘my’ frame and roll ahead into the next decade!


Quote: DAG HAMMARSKJOLD
Image: unknown

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Stretching destiny’s frame – Part 1

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We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny,
but what we put into it is ours.

Dag Hammarskjold

Destiny’s frame may not be chosen but there is always a way to stretch its boundaries. An example is the image within the ‘frame’ reflecting my life, a life filled with curiosity and grace. Many would not believe what I have packed into my own frame and there is still plenty of room.

It is important that I begin to reflect on what ‘fills’ my frame acknowledging those who have assisting me in this work. Much of my journey has been achieved with companions willing and strong. Each day someone walks through my door to assist me. If I tried to list the names of all these companions/caregivers we could very easily end up with a small town! From nursing students to professional barrel racers (cow girl and her horse), from women who were native to Switzerland to women who have barely been outside their small, rural American town.

Germany, Sweden, Latin America, and across this country  – I have been introduced to the world in a most personal way. I have learned to be surprised by nothing even when I hear the care assistant say she received her first gun at 10 (probably not the most shocking but something that can be shared). I have learned to listen, been counselor, presided over marriages and sat by hospital beds and joined care assistants in funeral homes as an advocate or a shoulder for support. Boundaries — oh yes, it is a task to keep boundaries clear with those who work with me day in and day out. Their job is extremely personal which often requires living with ‘grace in the grey’.

This is a community of people who continue to ‘walk’ the road with me, joining me as support to be independent. Their diversity keeps me on my game. Their willingness allows me to continue my work stretching Destiny’s frame. Their presence reminds me to remain grateful.

 

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