Diane Sawyer, Emily Dickinson and St. Francis of Assisi

Little kids are beautifully lacking the misnomer know of the constraints of time, societal norms, a narrow view of themselves and small thinking. I absolutely love that about little kids!! I am envious of their minds, open creativity and wild exploration of all things. When I ask my granddaughter (age 4) what she wants to do when she grows up, I get a myriad of responses; veterinarian, explorer, worker, inventor - just to name a few.  She also tells me she wants to be married and be a mom.

When the grown up Nancy was a kid there was only two things I ever thought about wanting to be. I never dreamed of a wedding or kids as a small child - only when I fell deeply in love as a teenager. Even then, it wasn't a wedding or a house but being with that person my soul connected to. All I wanted to do was be a newscaster (yes, sit at a  TV news desk and only see my top half-there's a joke there but I'll leave it be) or a writer.  It makes perfect sense through my adult lens looking back - I wanted to know things and I loved thoughts and words. Both are restless things though which match the restlessness of spirit I continue to have. I'm growing to understand that's just who I am, to embrace it and quit trying to quell something that is unrelenting. 

At age 30 I had a deep desire to go to seminary - a hunger to study philosophy, psychology and theology. I wanted to know, to get inner knowledge, to connect the pieces, to set free the crap that was meaningless in my soul. Philosophy and stoicism hold great wide open fields of discovery for me. But, life took a different turn. 

Now at age 53, I add to my list of things to be - a cook at a monastery. The quiet simple expression of cooking, creating, serving/ministering to others, embracing minimalism in an environment that fosters being emptied of the nonsensical-ness of our culture seems intriguingly enticing to me! But, since I am neither Catholic nor a monk, that's probably not in the cards although I do so love the color brown.

I tell my granddaughter she can be more than one thing at a time, and that over the course of her whole life she is free to change. Her mom, my daughter, wanted to be a cardiologist and a sign language teacher as a kid.  She did neither of those things but grew to know her bent and went the way of the creative fields. We all evolve - just like all things around us.

My favorite people are those who have personal renaissances later in life - they awaken to who they are over the course of their lifetime and do not adhere to dogma! One of the avenues to eternal youthfulness is constantly learning who we are and moving toward a more richer version of ourselves. My favorite old people are people who, as they are living each stage, have cultivated their kid spirit to continually be open minded, wide spirited and big visioned. I want to be like that when I am fully grown:)

All sorts of people came into their stride when they were older. In fact, many became the best version of themselves past the mid point of life. Peter Thorate invented the thesaurus at age 72 (I love the thesaurus). Momofuku Ando invented Ramen Cup Noodles at age 60 (college student cheer goes here). Nelson Mandella was elected President of South Africa at 75. Christopher Plummer won his first Oscar at 82. Julia Child started her cooking show on PBS at age 51. Laura Ingalls Wilder didn't publish her first book until age 65 (hope for me). Ed Whitlock, at 69, became the 1st regular marathoner to run a marathon (26.2 miles - his per mile time was just over 6 and 1/2 minutes per mile) in under 3 hours.

I can start and become anything at anytime. I am the only one to hold me back.

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