Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Day #497 Life Coaching

As I’ve told you before, this year is turning out to be one of major soul-searching on my part, and major changes in the way I approach life.
I’ve shared with you my attempts to overcome my fear of horses, my journey into the worlds of technology, my Silver Sneakers exercise program.
Another bugaboo has reared its head. I signed up for a life-coaching phone session with Jeanette Meierhofer, someone I met years ago at the Shakespeare Tavern. I made the appointment on something of a whim, but the results of it surprised me.
What I hadn’t consciously recognized is that I’m afraid of dying. I never, ever thought of myself as dreading the final reaper. I’ve shared with you how peaceful my father’s death was, and how I wanted to choose a death like his, for he showed me that dying could be a conscious, loving choice. 
I’ve always scorned Dylan Thomas and his insistence that one “not go gentle into that good night--rage, rage against the dying of the light.” 
But, that was when I was in my thirties, forties, fifties. Now that I’m halfway through my sixties, I’m beginning to realize that I might not have as long ahead of me as I thought I’d have.
And I don’t wanna go. I want to rage against it.
There are still too many books to be read, too many books to be written, too many places to visit. There are grandchildren to watch grow up, friends to laugh with, songs to sing. Thank goodness I talked with Jeanette about my fears. When we started, she asked me where, on a scale of 1 to 10, my fears lay. I felt like a basket case. My fear was up around a 7 at least. She listened compassionately, asked intelligent questions, and left me with a couple of assignments (should I choose to do them). By the time the appointment was over, my fear level had dropped to a 5. That felt like a big change to me.

And then I watched the movie The Children of Chabannes, a documentary about people who were rescued as children from concentration camps and taken to a school at Chateau Chabannes, in France. These people, the ones still living, were in their seventies, eighties, and nineties, and were still going strong, still living productive lives. What wonderful role models. “Jeanette was right,” I told myself. “I don’t have to shrivel up. I can keep right on living a productive life.”
Once I slept on it, I was down to a 3 or 4.
So now, all I have to do … is … do it!

BEEattitude for Day #497:
       Blessed are those who serve as role models and show the rest of the bees how to live, for they shall leave the hive a better place.


AggiePete said...

What a great blog today! I mean, they've all been great - every one of them - but this one hit close to home for me too. I never thought I was afraid to die but I'm in no hurry either. After 2 bouts with cancer and polio as a young child, I have counted my blessings and thanked the Lord for allowing me more time here. This is one 'blog day' I will print (as I have others) and read over & over again. Also going to check into the book mentioned. We are definitely here for a reason and like you, there's still so much more to see & do!!

Fran Stewart said...

Thank you, Petie! I'm so glad you go something out of this post.

The Children of Chabannes is not a book, though. It's a movie I rented from Netflix.

AggiePete said...

Well, is my face red?! Of course now I see that it's a documentary and one I will make a point of watching. You know, on a personal note, I've been so blessed to have an identical twin sister and be able to see someone who ages at the same rate I do - yep, the calendar may say we have No. 64 coming up this July but to us we're still those 16 year old cheerleaders living every day to its fullest!

Fran Stewart said...

Not a problem, Petie. I can see why you'd assume Children of Chabannes was a book, simply because I usually talk about books (when I'm not talking about bees).

Megan said...

Hi Fran, you can see I'm a week behind in blog-reading. I couldn't let this one go withouty comment because I could easily have written it word for word myself. Also 64,just retired as a teacher and carer for two ladies with learning difficulties who lived with us for 15 years so have no job,empty house,4th "child" left home recently,well there was only death left and I was near the front of queue. My fear came in form of panic attacks which never had before but had to really make myself do a lot of thinking-started a gratitude book! - and then tell myself to stop being selfish/greedy and remember my only sister died when she was 14,(I was 17)and try to live for her if not me. Worked most of the time but on bad days need friends and daughters help. Thinking of things to be grateful for helps most so thanks,I owe that to you. Hope you conquer it and don't get discouraged by bad days.I am moving to Wales as my "adventure" and you seem to be on track with yours,good luck