Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Approval Rating

Anyone's life truly lived consists of work, sunshine, exercise, soap, plenty of fresh air, and a happy contented spirit.

Lillie Langtry
One of the trickiest things about retirement and agedness is the tendency to hold on to a needless sense of responsibility. Just because I can take care of something doesn't mean I have to, especially if there are younger people around with more energy, mobility and resources to take care of it.

It isn't a matter of shirking my responsibility. If I am the only one who is available to do something than naturally I will attempt to do it. But all my life I have been one to try to take charge of circumstances, devise plans to accomplish things and carry them out. Sometimes my attempts have been futile, sometimes not. But lately I've discovered that there are people who can do things that I can do and sometimes do them better. I've come to the point where I'm willing to get out of the way and let them take on the tasks.

One of my motives in the past has been to earn love, in the forms of encouragement, approval and congratulations. But in the overall cosmic scheme of things the only and best approval I can have is from myself.

I didn't retire to stop working. So now I work in my apartment instead of on a stage. It won't matter if one of my paintings does not show up in the Museum of Modern Art or if one of my stories does not win a Pulitzer Prize. It would be very nice. But my time is coming to be spent with the sunshine, the fresh air, listening to the birds and seeing the earth grow up around me.

That I approve of my work and my work approves of me is more necessary than anything else for a contented spirit.

(This is not a contest.)

In your opinion what is the most amazing thing that could happen during this decade? Make it as outrageous as you want but keep it within the realm of what you consider a possibility.

Only 7 responses so far.

Answers will be published the first day of Summer.

Thank you.


DB - The Vagabond


Linda S. Socha said...

Thought provoking and true. I have trouble letting go of things I perceive needing to be done..and it is all about my perception.....so it is good advice for me. I have to admit ....I cannot perceive of being retired although I like the idea of freedom from myself to do what work or play I would think of to do in the moment

Gerry said...

Had to make a decision to stop posting my memoirs in my blog as they were upsetting too many Utah people. It will take me a little while to adjust to writing them without posting them. I hope you plan to write your memoirs in book form. I would so look forward to that, even though you are telling anecdotes about the past, as we all do from time to time. Still to me a memoir is the definitive narrative in the final years.

pacifica62 said...

Do you have a contented spirit db? Almost sounds like you do. We can have trouble letting go and letting someone else, but the truth is that none of us is indispensible. There will always be someone else around to do the job, and yes,perhaps even better than we can do it. The world will not stop in its tracks and life will go on. I have not retired, but you have given me many things to think about that you have mentioned in your writings. We can learn from those who have gone before us. I hope that when I get to that stage of life I will feel that I have something to contribute just as you do. You have got me thinking, and that, as they say, "is a good thing".

DB said...

Pacifica, I'm not certain yet whether the ornery events of life are an interruption in my contentment or if my contenment is an interruption in the troubles of the day.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

The fact that you have contentment puts you miles ahead of many people.

Beth said...

People are remembered in different ways. While a person might not have the broad influence of a Mozart or a Van Gogh, they can still influence those in their sphere and have a profound effect on them. This can be either good or bad, though! Hugs, Beth

pacifica62 said...

I hear you db. Well said and thought provoking. There are times I feel that life is one big test. A test of my patience, my resiliency, my creativity, my knowledge, my inability to move as quickly as I used to. I get weary of all the "tests'. Enough already. I just need it to be simple and through the path of least resistance. Personally, I suppose I would like to think that the ornery events of life (the 'tests') are an interruption of my contentment.