I’m currently reading “The Golden Years” by Pulitzer prize winning author Jane Smiley. It’s the last book in an epic trilogy that begins in 1920 in rural Iowa and covers a family over a 100-year span. It’s fascinating to witness family members’ perspectives shift, deepen and widen as they grow older and wizened from their life circumstances.
At the same time, our household is abuzz about life purpose, potential, passion, lessons learned and paths not taken. We’re in the midst of supporting our 17 year-old son through the arduous college application process and it’s brought up a lot of questions. While he’s very wise, like all on the cusp of adulthood—he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and can often fixate on small things.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if when we’re in the thick of a challenging time, we could call up our 100 year-old selves and invite them to tea–just so we can hear their soothing words of wisdom? Perhaps, they’d share, “Everything will be alright.” Or, “More will be revealed, just keep taking baby steps.” There’s nothing more comforting than to drink in the sweet balm of perspective from someone who can see our lives as a whole and help us not get too hung up on one moment in time.
I’ve always been able to see people around me ten years out or more–and at their highest state of potential and possibility. I used to see this as a flaw (there’s also value in seeing people exactly where they are now), but over time I came to realize this is a gift.
I think we all need wise guides that help us zoom out and up and not get so bogged down in the moment. Here are some ideas for identifying people in your life who can “stand-in” for your 100 year old self:
- when you’re stuck and feeling hopeless, who can you absolutely trust for sage counsel?
- who in your life always has a kind, compassionate view on your current life stage?
- who brings you solace and perspective—perhaps it’s an elder or a mentor who is very grounded?
This week I encourage you to explore looking at your life as a continuum and being open to new ways of seeing your current circumstances. When we are able to do this, it helps others around us do the same.
My dad loved to quote author Wayne Dyer and would often share, “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”
I’D LOVE TO SUPPORT YOU–THREE UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES:
- Schedule me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on work-life balance, resiliency or self-renewal. Learn more and email me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com to discuss your next event.
- Renew, replenish and recharge with like-minded women at a fall self-renewal retreat. In transition and seeking clarity/focus? View all upcoming fall retreats here.
- We’re hiring! Know an Austin-based Journalism, PR or Communications student who might want to work with our team? We have a fall women’s empowerment communications internship open (learn more).
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher author/speaker and Career Strategists president Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. She is the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 17-year-old son. More on Renee here.