I have noticed recently that the lecture halls of local Colleges and Universities are rapidly filling with aging citizens wanting to learn or to engage more. For some, the monitoring of classes enables them to give their input on a variety of matters. The sharing of their life experiences is an effort that allows them to balance out their position in the world. As an author, I can easily align myself with their perspective, both on aging and how they see themselves in the universe.

With a desire to become wiser, we form newfound judgements that allow us to see a clearer connection with ideas, specifically the merging of the past with the present. These acts alone form an unrelenting foundation to understand opposing truths without imposing a false order on the way all of us think. Further, I also see it as the talent we develop in order to see things from multiple perspectives.

From my point of view, this is what forms the basis of what self-acceptance and creativity is all about. Both serve as the replacements for what happens when the resume of our life accomplishments no longer exist.

Some have identified this odd stage of life as a period of needing to “re-invent oneself.” I see this period of life differently. It is a private and complicated life task where all of us seek the ability to stand in the midst of two realities without losing either.

We often grieve the loss of the identity we establish through our life’s work and actions. Yet, the search to gain ongoing wisdom while aging is more about the satisfaction of removing the trivial and replacing it with something more personally substantial, small though that may be.

Some believe that people of a senior age fall into a solitary phase of life. It becomes a life complete with an exclusive linear path of review. I understand it quite differently. In my mind, it is an incredibly interactive phase. It is a time when the strength of our emotions nobly replace bygone rational thinking. People feel at ease to pull differentiated information into their active consciousness. With the probability of death, life’s trivialities simply dissolve into immaterial moments.

With hope, as time moves forward, our thinking grows with more enlightenment. We look deeper into our daily matters; become more serious, grateful, caring and forgiving. If we are lucky, we may just avoid the disappointment of discovering that we did not live our intended life.

Everyone we meet travels headlong into what we have been discussing. As we progress through our aging years, any number of themes emerge. For me, the most notable are these: If unheeded, remaining blind to how we have the capacity to change over time can become a serious life handicap. In contrast, staying open to the changing of our life trajectory allows for a transformation of our spiritual consciousness. I fully recognize myself at that point in life. How about you?