Zooming

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Here I sit with coffee in hand, suitcase nearby, a million things running through my head, and it’s only 5:20 in the morning. I wonder if most people are like me in this regard. Life in America in the twenty-first century is complicated. It is complex. It is multifaceted, to put it mildly.

It seems that the older people get, the smaller their world becomes. I recall watching several “fourth chapter people”—people between the ages of seventy-five and one hundred—move from living in their whole house to living in their bedroom. Some stop watching television because they cannot bear the chaos erupting in the outer world; some stop reaching out to their friends and family and just want to be left alone and quiet; some even retreat further and stop caring for themselves physically. It looks like a winding down process to me.

I am in my “third chapter”—which is, according to Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s book The Third Chapter (2009), between the ages of fifty and seventy-five, and I am gaining momentum. I am a late bloomer, without a doubt! My peers are discussing retirement, planning extended vacations, or preparing to downsize somewhere warm. I am building a business, preparing to launch my first nonfiction book, and hopefully entering the bigger world of notable authors. 

In 2006, I ran across a quote about “zooming” (and I run across quotes all the time that stop me in my tracks, cause me to jot them down, and enter them into the whirl that is my thinking process). Seth Godin, in his book Small is the New Big, writes about this concept of “zooming” in terms of a business mind-set, but I think of it in terms of a lifestyle. He defines zooming as “stretching your limits without threatening your foundation.” Stretching your limits may look like one thing to some people and an entirely different thing to others. For me, it looks like breaking through fear barriers. That’s what “impostors” must do if they are to live even a normal life, much less an extraordinary one.

Andrea