Brand building through storytelling

The doors in my head

Sometimes I dream that my home is bigger than I knew. I’m walking down the hall with the morning papers or a bag of groceries, and there it is—a door that escaped my notice until now. The door opens onto a room with floor-to-ceiling windows and nothing inside except sunlight.

The room is big enough to hold a dance troupe, leaping and cartwheeling. Or all the books of my life on mahogany stacks like the ones in distinguished old libraries. Or all my favourite people, plus a live band and my own private sushi bar. I always wake from this dream with a heightened sense of possibility.

A few days ago, I turned 58. My future keeps getting shorter than my past. Some real-world doors are closing, or already closed. People younger than I am have trouble finding jobs, wisdom and experience be damned, because they’re thought to be “running out of runway” (this according to my recruiter friend). It seems a tad unfair in a vaguely personal way. I don’t want a job, but I do want to think I have endless opportunities. The dream reminds me that some doors can still swing wide open. They’re the ones in my own head. And all I have to do is see them.

I remember a conversation I once had with a woman in her 70s. She had buried three husbands and a number of friends. On one foot she wore an orthopedic boot. Over the second cup of tea, I asked her, “Which phase of your life was the best?”

She laughed as if the answer were obvious. “Why, right now, of course! I don’t have to look after anyone else, so I’m free to do whatever I want. I have my poetry workshop and my piano lessons. And I’ve joined an exercise class. I can do full splits.”

A few months later she phoned with big news: “Guess what! I’m getting married to the most wonderful man. He’s kind and funny and just the right height for kissing.”

He was also pushing 90. Oh, no. I blurted out what seemed to be the obvious question: how could she bear to lose another husband?

“We don’t think about time passing,” she said. “We just want to make every moment count.” The door had opened, and she danced through, a woman in love with possibility.

Posted by Rona

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