Soon I will be 67 years old. Not so long ago, people would not even get this old. And if they did, it was an exception. Today there are numerous people becoming 90 or even 100 years old, women as well as men. Moreover, they are not just getting older they also accomplish their PhD at the age of 90 or reach black belts in Judo at 92. People even get married at this age.
When I reached 65, I thought – as society has taught me – I’d have to become a pensioner. I would retire, wear black clothes and keep my mouth shut. 😉 That of course is an exaggeration and would be very difficult for me, especially the part with keeping my mouth shut.
But I gave in to the idea that I should stop working and live a quiet life. I tried. I packed up all my things, planned to leave Brussels to either have some good and warm days in France or to go back to Germany and assist my sister accompany our 89 years old mother. My intuitive voice though, which has always guided me through life, told me not to close down my practice room in Brussels. So I did not.
First I moved to France, enjoyed the sun and the climate, but after one year I had enough sun and I officially moved, via Belgium, to Germany. Still keeping my practice in Brussels, seeing clients when I passed through.
End of 2014 I arrived in the North of Germany, in Flensburg, rented an apartment in the middle of town, got registered and saw my mother every other day. We bonded again, even after half a century of voyaging my odyssey through life, she and I bonded. We resolved crossword riddles together, watched TV, visited my father’s grave and had good laughs about silly things. I stayed overnight, something I had never done before, and we became closer. As I said, we bonded. This is one of the reasons for which I do not regret my detour to the North, to the land of trolls and fairies.
After my mother and I had good talks, extensive laughs and little walks together, my sister preferred to take over again, and I began spending time by myself in Flensburg. I sang in choir project “Requiem of Brahms”, enrolled in a painting class, together with other retirees. But … a strong side in me stayed unfulfilled. Was this all to life?
As an early bird, I sat on my meditation cushion at 5 am, rekindled my Qi Gong practice and started journaling again every morning. Being by myself, I took a stroll around the harbour and spoke to the sea gulls; I walked through the forests and fields, listened to trolls and fairies and deeply inhaled the fresh air. And … I got bored.
During my meditation sessions, new ideas popped up in front of my inner eye. I saw myself exhibiting my artwork again, as I had done 25 years ago. I saw my books published and on display in bookstores. I saw myself studying at the University together with other students of all ages. I felt myself teaching and learning. The world opened up again, just in front of my inner eye.
A pensioner? Society has one idea. I have a different one. I enlisted my son Gunnar (www.gmallon.com) to help me change my website. I began to look for a bigger office in Brussels, and I hired a coach, a lovely woman (Caroline Leon) to support me opening a new chapter in my life. The late German singer Udo Jürgens sang: “Mit 66 Jahren, da fängt das Leben an …” (Life starts at 66…)
Retirement? Far from it. I feel young, energetic and full of ideas. I have so much life experience, work experience, and expertise. Would it not be a shame having it all fizzled out? I want to share it, learn more and assist people in finding their passion, their dreams and their joy of life.
From January 2016 onwards, I will share a house with a dear friend of mine in Brussels. I will bring my easel and canvas, and my computer. Recently, I engaged professionally with a likeminded young colleague. We now share a workspace and support each other on our journeys, assisting and supporting people. I will go back to Germany once a month to spend time with my mother.
I paint; I sing; I coach and I write. I feel alive like never before.
Next chapter is to follow next month.
Comments are welcome.
Happy New Year!