Beginnings and Endings

Classic fairytales have one thing in common: there’s a definite beginning (“Once upon a time…”) and a neatly wrapped up ending (“They lived happily ever after!”) Real life, however, is full of beginnings and endings and beginnings again, more cyclical and with less clearly defined boundaries.

I’m especially pondering new beginnings today, as I prepare to attend my oldest grandson’s wedding on Saturday. Life with his new bride is about to commence, as an open book before them to accomplish whatever they wish together. Exhilarating!

Entwined with the newness, however, is an assortment of endings for this handsome bachelor. Single life. The search for a life partner. The time of thinking only of himself and his own individual needs. Will he mourn these endings? Likely not, as the benefits of the beginnings far outweigh the perceived losses.

Is the same true in the particular stage of life in which you’re currently residing? As we age, we must continue to see the beginnings still continuing to balance out the endings. For many older people I see, I’m afraid that the beginnings are not a part of the equation. You see, the older we get, the more losses we’ve experienced, and those exciting firsts sometimes can seem a memory too distant to recreate. I hear people saying that the thrill of new beginnings is reserved for the young and that by their certain age, they have pretty much seen and done it all.

How tragic, and so very untrue this is. Our older years are when we’ve accumulated the wisdom and experience to know how fleeting life truly is, and that the only time we’re guaranteed is right now, in this moment. And so now is the perfect time to strive towards creating a new beginning, regardless of age, regardless of capabilities. Sign up for a class. Pick a new hobby to try. Make a new friend. Choose an area of the map you’ve never visited, and plan a little getaway. Prepare a new recipe. The ideas are limitless, really. The key is to think of what you like to do and just find a way to do more of it. And, if you can help someone or some cause in the process, then all the better for you and it/them.

In doing so, I can guarantee that you can find or maintain a sense of hope and expectation for new beginnings in life. The next piece is coming to acceptance and some peace for the inevitable endings. And perhaps, maybe, even, live happily ever after.