It didn’t take long for the relaxation of the cruise to wear off. We arrived home on Saturday afternoon, tired and footsore after a long day. In accordance with our plan, we raced off to the grocery before exhaustion could set in and prepared to hunker down for several days to avoid conveying any errant viruses to our friends.
Even without any physical contact, it took only a few days to realize how frenetic life in this senior community really is. The pervasive mantra of “Be engaged” and “give back to the community” has generated wonderful, engaging, can’t say “no” projects. Indeed, many of us measure our meaning in life by how useful we are to our communities—very much as we all did during our entire adulthood. Free time had little priority while living up to our potential to engage with the world and its infinite needs.
But wait, when do we reach the stage of life when we toss off those dragon scales of Social Expectation (a la Joseph Campbell)? When is there time for meditating or reflecting on life and connections, essential to creativity and spirituality and enlightenment (per Buddha, Jung, Richard Rohr and so many more). Are we, as senior citizens denying aging by staying busy, and carrying our adult expectations into old age?