There comes a moment in every person’s life when she realizes she has just entered the second half of her life.
With the average lifespan of a woman in the United States being 81, I technically crossed that line three years ago. Yes, that’s when my waist disappeared and the pregnancy questions started; my squiggly gray hair came in and I purchased my first pair of readers; I started doing things like placing ketchup in the freezer and cereal in the refrigerator; and the medical appointments on my calendar started to outnumber the social gatherings by a ratio of about 10:1.
A month ago I went through the rite of passage to the second half of life: my first colposcopy with an added bonus of an upper endoscopy. As I lie in the preparation room for this christening event, I read the book Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr. He writes:
There is much evidence on several levels that there are at least two major tasks to human life. The task is to build a strong “container” or identity; the second is to find the contents that the container was meant to hold. The first task we take for granted as the very purpose of life, which does not mean we do it well. The second task, I am told, is more encountered than sought; few arrive at it with much preplanning, purpose, or passion.