Fatherhood at Fifty – Changing Tides

gentle-shore-waves-1154926A wonderful sense of calm has been building here over the last few weeks. It’s like a wave in slow motion that is growing in size, preparing to break out at sea at its maximum crest height, and head into shore as gentle surf. It’s beautiful and powerful and awe- inspiring and I’ve never felt more complete as a person at any point in my entire lifetime. Interesting how we always feel most at peace when we let the Divine plan unfold with minimal manipulation on our parts.

When I was younger, more eager and full of wanderlust, I never would have scripted a life where I would have had my first child in my fifties. Now I can’t imagine having scripted it any other way. Every moment of my entire life has led me to the sacred experience I am living in right now. I am SO grateful.

This past Saturday morning  I was out for my morning Jim-time where I run my errands and get in a workout or yoga class. I’ve always loved my morning alone time and not surprisingly I’ve manifested a situation in life where that has always been entirely possible. Both of the women I have been married to over the last 30 years have been all too happy to sleep in a bit later than me, giving me ample time for morning meanderings. On this particular last Saturday morning though, I became keenly aware that this ritual of mornings to myself that I treasure so deeply is in some way coming to an end. It’s not that I won’t still get to the gym. It’s not that I won’t go out and buy some groceries and then make breakfast. It’s not that I will never again get in a 6:00 am hot yoga class. It’s just that I won’t be waking up and dashing out the door without considering a few other responsibilities first. I’m pretty okay with the upcoming change in my freedom to wander. In fact I’d even say that I’m delighted!

I’ve spent so much of my life rushing from point A to point B like I’m in some sort of relay race to get the most out of life before it passes me by and leaves me feeling empty. Funny how in trying to get the most out of life we can actually wind up getting way less and feeling empty. On the surface I’ve never thought of my life as empty. In fact I truly feel like I’ve lived more than my fair share of a full life already in my just over 50 years. It’s just that in preparing for fatherhood, I’ve come to realize just how much more untapped richness there is ahead on the path for me still.

In years past I would spend most of a Saturday morning working out and then plotting how many things I could possibly get done before I would finally put my feet up at the end of the day with a glass of wine. Along with that wine there would often be a nice meal, that in most cases I would have spent a decent amount of the evening perfecting in my own kitchen. My weekend to do list would set the bar so high that there was no possible option other than me pushing myself too hard and then still not meeting my own impossible to reach standards. I would race around the city looking for the exact ingredients I desired. I would tackle multiple projects around the house at the same time. I would work hard and play hard both in Chicago and in Michigan and on some weekends in both places over the same 48 hour stretch. I’ve run more than my fair share of races over the years. The question that always remained though was, “What was I racing towards? ” 

Things have been slowing down over the last few years though. It’s not that I’m physically slowing down, but rather that I’m allowing myself to move a bit more slowly. In doing so, the pattern of the waves in my life have become more steady and less erratic – more like the gentle surf and less like the violent sea.

One of the questions that I tend to get asked fairly frequently as our pregnancy winds to its ultimate finish line sounds something like this:

“Are you totally freaking out yet?!” 

The answer to that question is an emphatic no. It’s truly an amazing answer because all the major pillars in my life are in some sort of fluctuation. In years past I would have considered that fluctuation to be an indicator of instability. Now I am more inclined to see that fluctuation as merely a transition. It’s like an energetic passage from point A to point B, minus the racing and the self-created stress that I was all too good at in my younger, wanderlust years. Mind you I specifically choose the word fluctuation over instability because I’ve come to accept that transition is an opportunity for growth not a failure to control things. It’s easier to see that perspective from a fifty year old perch.

What will this next Saturday bring? I may be holding my newborn daughter in my arms, or I may be off to the gym or to a yoga class as we wait. Whichever the answer, I’m certain that I’ll do it more fully engaged and that I’ll savor every instant. I’ve been looking for the perfect ingredient to complete my recipe for a lifetime. I think it’s about to arrive in a way I never could have dreamed of…
























































About Jim Herbert

I've been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I'm hitting my stride. I'm also a budding speech writer. I've recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Check out our website at www.emergingintojoy.com for more details about the amazing things that are happening in my life. A book or two are nearing completion. With another Paris trip on tap for Easter of 2015 I can only imagine that there are Infinite Possibilities on the horizon!!!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s