The chapters of our lives

When I am reading a book, I have been known to flick ahead to see how long a chapter is before I begin my reading of that particular chapter.

It gives me a sense of how much time and concentration is involved before I venture in. If I am really desperate, I have also been known to search for clues amongst the words on the pages ahead to hint at what will unfold.

Life can, and often is, lived in chapters. The main difference being I cannot ‘read ahead’ to see how long the chapter is or if it goes the way I so desperately need it to.

I heard someone say once that if we treat each day like it is a new chapter in the book of our life, we see the opportunity available to us.

While I am not sure if each day is a new chapter, when I look back, I can certainly see distinct chapters of my life.

For me each day is like a piece of prose -separate by its own theme however connected in how it fits into the current chapter.

Sometimes chapters can exist because of the age we are at – we all know that midlife is often referred to as the afternoon of our life because we have well left morning and have not yet entered  evening.

Sometimes chapters exist because of the stages we are in.  Shakespeare talks of 7 stages of life while Thomas Armstrong wrote a book about 12.
At midlife it is often determined by the stage we are at with family and with work.

Empty nesters, early retirees, new relationships and new ventures.

For some becoming mortgage free can start a whole new chapter in one’s life while others are forced into a turning of the page because of unexpected circumstances such as divorce, death or redundancy.

The key is to know when a chapter ends and a new one begins.

When to let go of the pages turned before this very moment and write the pages that are to come.

That is what really counts and at midlife it is even more important.

As I have suggested in previous blogs – midlife can be a time of contemplation, concern and curiosity.

If we waste it spending time stuck in turned pages and already written plots and characters, then we loose the opportunity to write fabulous new plots with the characters of our dreams and ourselves deeply planted as the hero or heroine.

It is impossible to rewrite a chapter already lived – it is possible to rewrite one’s perceptions around the chapter.

There are chapters in my life where things have unfolded well and naturally drawn to a close. Just as there are chapters that have resulted in huge angst and me kicking and screaming as the plot, I have not chosen, becomes clear, and the ending happens whether I like it or not.

Which also means there are chapters where I have not been the heroine – actually I am sad to say there have been chapters, or at least pages, when I have behaved more like a villain.

So why do I talk about the chapters in our lives?

Because I think our lives are defined by our willingness to turn a page, step into an ending with grace and cherish the whiteness of the unspoiled page that awaits the new adventure we wish to write.

And Ageing Strong is knowing that above all else, you are the author of every chapter from here on in.

Write well my Middlicious friends.

Write well.

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