Photo: woods wheatcroft photography

In The Meantime . . .

Holiday TreeHow often do we feel we are waiting for something – a time to come, an idea, an adventure, a visitation by family or friends? How often do we waste precious time in The Meantime because it feels empty until the “time” arrives ? While we await in The Meantime, do we think about what we should be doing, could be doing, but don’t do because we are waiting for something so anticipated? What is the meaning of The Meantime? A rest? A gestation period? Or a time of renewed activity?

The Meantime can be times of moping and fussing or times of happy anticipation, of rejuvenation, inspiration, and creativity. The Meantime can be about hope and fulfilling unmet dreams from earlier years.

Many elders I know seem to dwell in The Meantime between the years they have left and death. They feel they are in limbo – lost, uncertain what to do next, and often feel alone. Perhaps they have just lost the value and meaning of The Meantime. Life is never over until it is, so The Meantime provides valuable time for new energy to emerge, for creativity to blossom toward fulfilling those remaining goals and interests till present. Many empty nesters and elders have the time they may not have had before and can now get busy pursuing new involvements, often within their own communities. They travel even if taking in the amenities around them.

Recently my daughter visited from Southern California. She gre up here but has been away for 15 years. She wanted to take in the changes in her hometown. We walked and jogged The Pend Oreille Bay Trail in the frigid cold, but saw swans, ducks, and geese feeding on the lake. We walked down First Avenue and went into every shop – something I had not done for years. We had fun together reconnecting to our earlier lives and her roots in Sandpoint. Then we came home to brandied eggnog and decorated my home for Christmas and shared our goals for the upcoming year and all that is important to each of us a generation apart.

I am nearing elderhood; some say I am already there, so I often worry about getting stuck in The Meantime. Visiting with my daughter gave me new insights about what is important to me and to her.

The Meantime provides such value to reinvest in one’s life and possibilities still before us. It is meant to give us pause and then to pursue what can still be fun and important, and a sense of completing one’s dreams.

I wish everyone the happiest of holidays and fun finding new ideas for using any Meantime you experience to your positive advantage.

Krystle Shapiro, MSHN owns NewTritionally Yours! offering nutrition education classes called Food 4 Life. Classes will begin again in February. She can be reached at (208) 290-6760 for information and to register.

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