(a reflection by Acting Co-Director Kari Reiquam)
It helps me to playfully imagine the Guild as a 40 year old person – what are the challenges at this age of maturity?
A 40 year old is starting to realize the body in a different way. The same eating and exercise habits that worked at 20 are not working as well for the body! Sometimes a little gray hair is beginning to show, as are “love handles” and dark circles under the eyes. There is a realization of tiredness and the need for rest, as well as a drive to be established and secure.
The 40 year old might have a stronger desire to be established. The forties are a time when one buys the reliable car, gets rid of the ratty rug, cleans up the wardrobe and focuses on the job and the kids and the parents. The forties are a time when one begins to realize one can’t have everything. Some things need to be left behind or put aside for the future in order to strengthen present foundations and live out the roles one needs to play.
The forties are a middle time between youth and old age, containing pull, stress, and growth. It is a time for compromises as one considers the needs of the vulnerable for strong structures of care. Being part of institutions means compromise of ideals as well as a support and a guide.
This is a time when losing begins to play as much of a role in life as gaining. Accumulation of stuff and experiences is becoming harder to bear and the 40 year old is beginning to feel burdened by more, ready to leave some things behind. This means choosing one beautiful thing instead of another.
There are dreams, of course, in the forties. Sometimes the forties are the grounding of dreams from the twenties and thirties . Sometimes the forties are a time of compromise for the sake of family or community. Sometimes the forties are a time of constructions, where dreams become reality. Sometimes the forties bear new dreams honed within the limits of means.
Yes, the forties frequently represent a time of choosing, a time of building, a time of recognizing limits and resources.
What would you like to say to the Guild at this age?
(If you would like to participate in the Guild’s transition conversation, please take our Transition Survey or contact Kari directly at email@example.com)