This weekend eight of us friends gathered in Colorado. We went to celebrate my friend Amy and my cogatheringhusband Steve’s 50th birthday but we also gathered to discuss second half living. Prior to gathering each of us read Richard Rohr’s book, Falling Upward, which speaks to a spirituality for the two halves of living. To put is simply, and there’s nothing simple about Rohr, first half living is when we build our containers (identity through stuff, position, accomplishments, reputation, power, etc.) Second half living is when something in life (usually a trauma) blows up our container and we start to redefine our spiritual life.

We hung for several days and amidst food, wine, cards, sledding and hot tubing we tackled thought-provoking questions such as:

What has been a driving force in your first half of life? Will it carry you forward? If not, what have you laid aside as impossible (because of the driving force of first half living) that you might want to revisit?

It was fascinating to hear the different drivers. My driver was two-fold, sweating out the abuse of my upbringing as well as the force of a hurricane life (mothering, employee, wife, student, friend, cook, house cleaner, relative etc.) I don’t know how it happened but somewhere along the way I found myself holding all these balls in the air. It was exhausting.

cotreeThis may have been my first half driving force but it is not my second half driving force. Second half living offers more freedom than the first. I’ve come to realize life doesn’t fit in neat little boxes but rather is full of paradoxes.

So what about you? What is the driving force in your first half of life? And will it carry you into the second half?