Life Change

 

This is an article about hope, aging, and coping with our inevitable mortality.

We arrived at the Mill Casino Resort in Coos Bay, Oregon around 4:15 in the afternoon. I am sitting on a brown, pine, folding chair next to a wood paneled octagon-shaped table. A small green iron fence boxes off this outdoor patio area.

The sun is out; temperature is about 65 degrees. There are multi-colored flags flapping in the wind posted on the boardwalk directly in front of the little fence enclosure. Purple, yellow, blue, pink, and white flowers hang in containers from the lamp posts in between the dancing flags.

Most reassuringly, I have a gorgeous view of the bluish-green bay waters. It spans easily more than a mile across. Verdant mountains on the opposite shore project up like a horizontal pod of monstrous Humpback Whales.

To my amusement and amazement, great Pelicans circle in the middle of the bay, sometimes providing gymnastic diving stunts for a fresh fish meal. And, floating, twinkling, ferry lights, hover as the sun refracts off the calm, billowy sea.

I am also enjoying the warm rays of that mighty heat orb that caresses my white tea-shirt, tempting me to utilize my red swim trunks to plunge into the indoor pool. I smile for a moment, and glance down at the front of my shirt, reading the bold, yellow letters: "Author, Life Coach, and Therapist."

Today, September the 6th, is my birthday. I have just turned the big six and zero. My wife Susan is upstairs in our Native American, decorated, third story suite. She is getting ready for the recreational activities tonight.

I have considerable ambivalence about reaching this aging milestone. For the last sixty years, I feel I have been climbing the slope of life with enthusiastic and anticipatory expectations. Now, I sense I am heading down the slope to the inevitable final solution.

In addition, birthdays for me have been bittersweet over the last few years. My mother passed away from a brain aneurysm on my birthday eight years ago. She never regained consciousness from her coma. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye.

These are scary, depressing, and unpleasant thoughts. Can you relate to this somber muse? Here are a few ways I tried to cope with such normal but painful life changes.

First, I became more aware of the two Jacuzzis gurgling back of me in the patio resort area. Country music is playing softly in the background. It's time to try out the Jacuzzi.

Oh yeah; I'm in an 8 feet long by 5 feet wide, hot water massager; looking out at the clear blue sky. In the heavens to my right is a dim white, sliver of a Crescent Moon. The water jets exorcize all tensions and stress from my main muscle groups. My mind welcomes this form of release.

Second idea, the indoor pool starts to call my name; time for a swim.

I dip into the 24 feet wide by 36 feet long, clam-shaped pool. It's pleasantly surrounded by humid air inside the glass-walled pool area. A purple strobe light submerged in the lukewarm water embraces my body, which I propel by gentle breast and back strokes for about ten laps. At this moment, it feels easier to accept being sixty.

After my invigorating swim, another idea is to meander over to the lodge room. From the ceiling, huge, rugged, log beams are stacked crisscross, like we did with a set of childhood Lincoln Logs. On the adjacent walls, hang paintings of the Coquille Indian Tribe by artist Peggy O'Neal. The painted images and titles take us back to simpler more ancient times with examples of "Canoe Carvers" and "Sharing Stories" or the "Gathering Place."

My eyes are also drawn to the central attraction of the room: the open, stone fire-pit. The yellow-orange flames dance with knife-sharp, hypnotic motion beneath a brown, octagon fire funnel.

Next idea, I sit for a while on a nearby couch. My spirit merges with the primitive but comforting extravaganza of clashing heat and light swords; mood is further relaxed by soft, melodic, flute and sea gull sounds piped in as background music.

I take a deep, slow breath. The senses take me on a meditation journey where time and space are suspended. There is only the immediate now filled with pulsating emotions of life, joy, love, and peace.

For untold moments, I let go; and remain in this life affirming state. Gradually, my eyes drift to the boardwalk in view through the glass doors and windows at the West side of the fire-pit room.

Last idea, it's time for a walk. I pace off the boardwalk, with more than four hundred strides; staying close to the wooden guard rails that frame the extended deck. Easy to imagine being on a cruise ship smoothly gliding through the calm, rippling sea.

A healthy looking sea gull is perched not more than fifteen feet away on a guard rail post. The air is salty fresh; the bay waters gently move as a living portrait constantly changing with geometric convex and concave designs.

As I continue my walk, it seems appropriate to silently affirm in my mind, "I am whole, healthy, prosperous, and free of all limitations." In this mental and spiritual silence I become more aware that it's not so bad being sixty after all. And Mom, "I love you always."

More by this Author


Comments 15 comments

mulder profile image

mulder 8 years ago from Warnbro Western Australia

I really enjoyed  reading this hub   qlcoach .Well done


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 8 years ago from South Africa

Great Hub, qlcoach. I passed the big 6-oh mark a few years ago and can identify with a lot of what you have written in this piece. Birthdays are always bittersweet for me also - I lost my dear mother a few days after my 54th; my beloved brother, who had a birthday just two days before mine (not in years, of course; he was seven years older than I) soon after my 57th. And mother's birthday was just two days after mine. We had birthdays on 24, 26 and 28 December, which means that Christmas also has for me a rather dark aspect, apart from the usual reasons, which I hope to write about sometime soon.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Happy Belated birthday, qcoach! I too have my thoughts about aging; I rememver when my mom was in her 70's, I asked her what it felt like to be older, and she said without a pause, "I still feel young on the inside, the spirit never ages", for her it meant, she was the same woman (but much the wiser), that she was in her 30's, but just with an older body.


bill yon profile image

bill yon 8 years ago from sourcewall

happy b-day coach.positive affirmations,I think I will add that to mental arsenal.nice hub.


starcatchinfo profile image

starcatchinfo 8 years ago

HI QLCOACH,

I SENT YOU A MAIL WISHING YOU A 'VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY' ON 6TH SEPTEMBER 08 . Did you receive it ?


starcatchinfo profile image

starcatchinfo 8 years ago

nicely written hub , njoyed reading it


AEvans profile image

AEvans 8 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

PERFECT!!! It is also a great way to heal and gave to me a great insight on what is to come.


Veronica Bright profile image

Veronica Bright 8 years ago from Nebraska

Nicely done. Thank you for the comment on my Paranormal Hub. I write primarily on the Paranormal and Native Americans (shhhh...but not here)

Joining your fan club, hope you do the same.

Veronica


2patricias profile image

2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Thanks for sharing this. How wonderful to celebrate your age and now wish for something else.


franciaonline profile image

franciaonline 7 years ago from Philippines

Perfect hub for one like me who just got my senior citizen's card. It's just the body that ages. The spirit inside is ever the same. I still ask myself: What will I be when I grow up?...another level of growing up, of course.

Your hub inspires me. I keep visiting your hub for more. Thanks for sharing your heartwarming style of writing.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 7 years ago from West Virginia

The poeticness of this hub. If I wasn't there in reality I sure was there in my mind.


glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

This insight is much appreciated here on HubPages. I'm sorry about your mother, but I salute you for looking ahead.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Well written mention of your mother and growing older at the same time in that oh so lovely setting.


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California

Love this hub. I am 62 and loving every minute of it. I do appreciate your introspective on turning 60, I can't remember if I even gave it a thought.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon Author

Thanks to all of you who have written comments on this Hub. Hope you will check out my work on Miracles too. Peace and Light...Gary.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working