Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Word for Each Decade of Life

Have you ever pondered each decade of your life as you look back? I suppose this would only work for those who have lived a few! Someone once defined spirituality as "poring over the stuff of life." This summer, I spent some time at Lake Junaluska, a pristine retreat setting in the Carolina mountains. I walked the beautiful two mile lake walk, and about 1/2 way around I saw the most gorgeous sunset shimmer over the water. I sat for a long, pregnant time of quiet. I am 43 years old. I could very well be at the 1/2 way point of my life, and what a shimmering place it seems to be for me. I am ready for the next chapter of my journey, whatever life brings.

Considering that I was at Junaluska on a mission of leadership that is new for me, I pondered what one word might describe each decade of my life to this point, and what one word might describe the season I am in now. What an exercise. I concluded that the first decade of my life was about GROWING. The second decade of my life was about BECOMING, discovering who I was and setting the basic direction of my life. The third decade was about STRIVING, about pushing to find my way, setting up career and family. The fourth decade was about LEARNING, and there were some very hard lessons to learn, too. What would be the decade I am in? Perhaps it's about MATURING. I hope so. I am in a new place and we'll see what it will be like to look back on it.

What single word might describe each decade of your life?