November 2017
Open Sea Reflections

Judy Kohl

I recently celebrated a birthday – not one of those that slips by and you hope no one notices. With this one, I am standing on the cusp of a new decade and for some reason, those decade birthdays have been very significant in my life. I’ve thought back to how my life literally seemed to make a paradigm shift with each new decade.

The day I turned fifty, I woke up empowered in a way I had never sensed before. My life felt rich and complete – any future experiences were a bonus. I chose to leave my full time church position, which seemed strange as I had been an organist since age 16.  Yet, it was a new beginning and I sensed fresh energy and creativity as I now had the time  to compose music of my own.
Now that I just turned sixty, I wonder what  this next decade will look like. Those high values of empowerment and strength don’t seem to be as important as before.  I sense something more gentle and gracious – and yes, much more comfortable. This is renewing for my spirit. There is an ease even as I approach this busy holiday season as who I am is not validated by what I do or even how well I do it. I will use the gifts I’ve been given by God and continue to welcome any opportunity to use them.
If it sounds as if I plan to simply sail into the sunset, then I’ve painted the wrong picture. A friend of mine challenged me to embrace life not as many people do after a certain number of birthdays; trying to maneuver their boat into the harbor safely with as few dings as possible. Rather, I plan on exploring the open seas, indefinitely.
This decade will most likely look different. Meanwhile, I have plans to become a better musician, learn as much about this wonderful life as possible, give back to  those less fortunate in my community and around the world, and deepen those friendships I hold so dear. I’m glad that becoming more involved with North Shore AGO will make that more likely with each one of you.
Judy Gration Kohl, Board member

Posted in Past Testimonials.