Saturday, July 2, 2022




I saw the light

Seven years ago I wrote in my journal,

"Now, resting between yesterday and tomorrow, I realize time has blurred my understanding of myself. I have a reasonably good idea of who I have been, and what I have, and have not accomplished during my lifetime. The goals and desires that have guided me through the years continue to roam about in my head, albeit with a little less noise. However, they have difficulty getting traction because time has worn away some of the fearless and unbridled ambition and enthusiasm that allowed me to believe I was in charge of my future. Now, after a lifetime of pursuing a life of my own design, and well into the 8th decade, I find myself disoriented, unable to clearly define what I want for myself in my remaining years."


I was 74 years old and struggling with the notion that all of those “Somedays” (Someday I will travel to Italy. Someday I will begin working on that book. Someday I’ll do Pilates.)  that I’ve leaned on so heavily in my lifetime were rapidly diminishing with each passing year. Of course it didn’t help that the passing of each year had become incrementally faster with each birthday. As a result, I felt increasing pressure – all self-imposed – to know what I wanted to accomplish in the years ahead and pursue it vigorously, not necessarily the best way to approach creative and imaginative work. In retrospect  my work suffered for several years while I battled with myself. It was only when I realized the true nature of the problem that work and life both returned to a healthier normal.


The problem was not the diminishing future and the loss of basking in glorious Somedays. It was the pathetic way I responded to being seventy-something years old, using age to define myself. I saw everything I did or planned within the framework of my age. I was no longer William Renzulli planning a new series of paintings, but Seventy-five year old William Renzulli. This mindset artificially distorts reality, and I was beginning to screen all future work and plans by asking if I was too old to consider, let alone act on them. I know; it is a ridiculous way to think, and fortunately, as soon as I recognized that I put an end to it. Now, early in the ninth decade, I view my future as endless and my potential unlimited. Liberated from a totally needless burden, my life and my work has once again become a source of pleasure and satisfaction. 


Another life's lesson learned, and like all the others, destined to be re-learned again and again.

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