A good friend of mine once said: After the age of 40, you don’t get to feel one way about anything. It rang true 20 years ago and it rings true today.  Ambivalence is a constant for people in their sixties. Yet, this is really not a bad thing.  Now is the time to cultivate both/and thinking, rather than either/or.  It’s possible to be fine about holding different beliefs in mind and understanding that both can be true simultaneously: we can feel excited about the class reunion while convinced that attending would be the biggest mistake, ever. We can want to retire and fear it like the plague at the same time. We can miss our children and grandchildren fiercely but also feel uncomfortable about the disruption of our routines that a visit will bring. We want to stay close to home, safe and comfortable,  but also yearn for the opportunity to see the world while we are physically able. We want to watch edifying shows on PBS as well as first season re-runs of The Office.

I think that the ability to hold both beliefs without discounting either encourages resilience.  It promotes flexibility and tolerance……On the other hand, it can also make you insane (clearly two competing ideas).


( Important idea by a man who did not live past his early forties!)
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Categories: observations

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