Santa Fe Sun Monthly, April 2013
'We are reinventing, re-purposing, and restoring ourselves'
When Alena suggested the theme for April of "Restore, Reinvent and Repurpose" Richard's first reaction was to raise a question. First of all, he wasn't sure what she was talking about. Why start over? What's wrong with the way things are, he asked with his obvious male outlook. After about 45 minutes or so of a supposed diatribe between the two of them, he succumbed.
At the same time, Richard is always amazed when he encounters people who are resistant to change. He has always viewed life as a constant growing experience involving change by it's very nature. He has viewed it as an incredibly positive thing to continually meet different cultures, peoples, and ways of life. Life involves periodically, reinventing oneself, growing into a new and different version. The need to reinvent oneself only ceases when personal growth and development stop. On the other hand, when we take in new knowledge and implement it we are changed. When you have new experiences and learn from them, it changes us. So long as we continue to grow, we will need to reinvent.
Richard can't count the number of times he has reinvented himself. The latest was the move to Santa Fe and no longer wearing three-button suits with vests, so he is now wearing jeans every day. Fifty years of ties! No more. Alena has made the ties into a skirt and vest. He loves it. As a result life has been an amazing, at times stressful, but mostly a very exciting adventure. Every time we add a new dimension to our lives we gain knowledge, insight and experience. A richness of wisdom comes from such an experience. We can only understand it if we embrace change.
Alena isn't as sure. As a woman perhaps, she is not used to living on the "edge" at times as change overtakes her, although she continually tries to learn. Friends of years are far away. It probably is harder for a woman to turn the aging process into a positive experience rather than a fearful one. On the other hand, why not continue to improve mentally, emotionally and physically into your later years? The important thing we try to do in this new issue for April 2013 is to create a new vision of midlife and beyond and express the hope that we are willing to do whatever we can to fulfill that vision.
Our photo this month is in the New Mexico State Capitol. What an outstanding building. Richard enjoys visiting time and again after having visited notable structures around the world. None compare to New Mexico's capitol in Santa Fe. The collection of art in the capitol is stunning. It is of New Mexico, but one of the most striking is "Buffalo" by Holly Hughes. It is very large and is made up of re-used products of all kinds, re-invented by Hughes to create a spectacular buffalo hung on the wall of the third floor. "Buffalo" consists of old newspapers, nails, paint brushes, belts, rags, metal shavings, light bulbs, plastic spoons and so forth. Looking at this sculpture, one can certainly see the experience and wisdom gained by this "creature" who has obviously "been around" and has now been "re-invented."
(Photos by Lorissa J. Longfellow)
It is very significant to recognize that today, 62% of the people who reside in Santa Fe are over 50 years old. The percentage of people older than 50 for all of New Mexico is 46%. We want to help lead the way for these New Mexicans to discard typical attitudes about aging and instead to reinvent, repurpose and restore themselves to vigorously pursue their dreams and a very purposeful, fulfilling life.
Yes, life today is different. This is a positive. We may not have all the perks of seniority in a business setting. No longer are youngsters running under foot, paying for college is behind us and we no longer have to commute long distances. Modern technology lets us accomplish a tremendous amount of constructive work around the world from our own home. This is a real breakthrough. We are reinventing, re-purposing, and restoring ourselves.
Enjoy April. Spring is about here!