Club Danube Speech Contest

Title: Nature

Subtitle: Phases of Life
Contestant of Club Danube,
Brigitte Schachermayer

DALAI LAMA, the famous spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, said the following about the phases of life:
„Do live a good life, then you can, when you are old and   look after your life, be happy a SECOND time, about your good life.“
I chatted with my daughter Julia some days ago about my speech in Graz. Julia’s explanation about the phases of life sounded like this:

In our twenties we normally are healthy, have much time, but no money.
In our Forties we are healthy, have money, but no time.
And in our Sixties we have the three of them: Health, time and money – if we are lucky.

I want to mention a most interesting book written by the German psychologist, Hans-Werner Wahl, about the findings in age-research. Nowadays we grow old later, longer and different as generations before. His findings in age-research have many surprising facets, concerning our adaption, our stableness and our mental health. He emphasizes that we all, also the younger people, have to prepare for a long life and a long phase of being old.

We speak about slowing, also we talk about discovery of slowness.

Who knows it best? Of course, the old people. When you don’t have time unlimited, then less time is left so you use the rest of the time more efficiently.

Old people are in the age-research called „Keepers of meaning“. They know all about life and they can pass on their knowledge.

I want to tell you my personal experience in the third phase of life, being in my sixties now. I live now in my parents-house, where I was born. After living more than a decade in Spain, for me it is the best place for my age now.

My life is a consequence of my personal decisions. I harvest now with abundance, what I have sown in my former days. I have 3 healthy children Julia, 39, Jakob, 37 and Stella, 35 years old and 2 healthy grand-sons, Pauli 6 and Jakobi 3 years old.

The lovely boys come frequently to be with Omi and Abu, as we live beside them. Abu is the nickname of their Spanish grand-father – el abuelo. And they enjoy being with our playful cat Lola.

I feel myself more flexible in body, mind and soul than ever before. I make only things I really like to do. I am convinced, that they are worth doing. And I know what I need at any moment.

My world is defined just like this:
Being in the nature
Being with my favorite subject, the Psychology
And being with my world of writing.

In the meaning of the Positive Psychology, which is part of my studies I fortunately lead a successful life (Gelungenes Leben).

Here is a mental exercise:

Imagine you are 80 years old and you look back at your life! Visualize yourself being at the celebration of your 80th birthday. I will try it now:

“I am surrounded by my big family. My only son is holding a speech about me and my unique personality. I am still healthy in the meaning of body, mind and soul. I have seen many parts of the world. I have published several books.”

This exercise works. All your imagination, that you visualize properly will come true in the future.

What ITC means to me at the age of 63?

When I decide to go to an ITC-meeting, I go there by car 15 kilometers to Linz. I come in time to be able to make a little chat before the meeting with my ITC-friends.

ITC is a volunteer club. You can’t lose or win anything. What counts is only your personal pleasure about your chosen job during the meeting. ITC is challenge and pleasure for me in my longest phase of life!

Life now has a different value in my age. I am aware in every moment that life is limited, not infinite, as young people think. We are here only for a visit on earth.

May I read out to you now, my first and my favorite poem, written in 1997 to round off my thoughts:

Mein Sinn des Lebens

Wir sind nur auf Besuch hier auf dieser Erde
Nicht genützte Chancen sind vorbei.

Nütze den Augenblick
Indem Du das tust, was Du willst.

Sei lieb zu Deinem Umfeld
Zu fremden Menschen, bekannten Menschen

Lebewesen, Blumen
Erfülle sie mit einem warmen Blick.

Niemand sagt uns
Was es hier eigentlich auf sich hat
Niemand schreit, flüstert uns
Den Sinn unsers Daseins ins Ohr.

Wir finden ihn einzig und allein
Im Schwingen unserer Seele zwischen Ich und Du.