I met someone recently in one of those unpredictable quirks of fate, someone whose impact on me was inversely proportional to the amount of time we spent together. It went like this: One evening, about a month ago, I had a small window of time between seeing my last client of the day and an evening commitment, and went into PCC (a local market) to grab some soup. All the tables were full, so I asked someone if I could sit at their table.
She was an older woman with greyish white hair, and she immediately smiled at me and invited me to sit. We ate in parallel silence for a while, with occasional general comments such as the weather (we were both very ready for spring) and the headlines (Trump’s latest). She looked at me with bright eyes as I asked about her day. Conversation progressed and we told each other our names as well as our occupations. When she found out I was a therapist, she sat up straight. She said, “I’ve been reflecting on my years ahead.” As a therapist, I know a lot about and have helped many clients through the developmental stages of life, from adolescence, to young adulthood, through to middle age and retirement years. It is normal and natural to be looking with intention at one’s remaining years after age 70, and sometimes with regret at what’s passed. I expected her to start telling me about her loneliness or tough times, as strangers often do when they meet a therapist. Instead she said something that will stay with me for a long time. She said, “I want to experience the richness of life. How do I make my remaining years a truffle instead of just a Hershey’s bar?”
With this remark, I immediately felt a shift in our connection. The air between us seemed to visibly shimmer and my own eyes grew bright. How lovely her question was, and how insightful, and how absolutely life-changing that question could be to so many of us who rush through life, stressed and often overwhelmed, with our thoughts on the daily grind.
How do I make my remaining years a truffle?
A fabulous challenge that can become a life purpose… I invite you to be curious, as I am, about this question and to strive to find those truffles in life which heap abundance and utter delectability on each day.
And, lovely stranger from PCC whom I am quoting, I forget your name but I will always remember your life-shifting question.