Monday, October 22, 2012

My Personal Symphony

Okay. I know what you're thinking. "Her Fourth Movement"? What the ........... huh?

Let me explain.

Recently I was reading a book by Richard Bolles, "What Color Is Your Parachute?", and something jumped out at me. He mentions a symphony term I hadn't heard before: the "Fourth Movement". His description of it really clicked with me. Because it was me.

I like metaphors and this was was a doozy. Mr. Bolles likes to think about life in a musical way. Me too. Lord knows I'm not musically gifted. Can't sing. Can't play an instrument. But boy do I love music. It has been there for me at every stage of my life. From the gospel music I heard as a young girl in Sunday school to the British invasion right up to the latest by Carly Rae Jepsen.

Mr. Bolles compares a four-part symphony to life. He says life consists of the following stages: infancy, learning, working. Then we head into retirement and the fourth part, aka The Fourth Movement.

According to the author: "The Fourth Movement, in the symphonic world, is a kind of blank slate.....the composer writes of triumph, victory, and joy.......the Third Movement ends with a bombastic, stirring march. The Fourth Movement, immediately following, is subdued, meditative, meandering, and sounds almost like an afterthought."

I'm knocking on the door of life's fourth part, that "blank slate" stage. I'm not quite ready for retirement (tho I pray to the lottery gods to send me that long overdue windfall so I can quit the rat race...please? are you listening, oh mighty bestowers of the shiny pots of gold?). But ever since I've suffered thru the empty nest syndrome (sniff sniff!), turned 50 (agh!) and the recent loss of my job (ugh!), I feel a bit directionless. Confused. Off balance.

If you look at the definition of "Type A" you'll find me. I need structure. Schedules. Organization. Which is why I'm in such a tizzy right now. So I made a decision: look at the future in a positive way. Not think of a blank slate as a bad thing but as a chance to re-write the next phase of my life.

Until my jackpot prayers are answered, I must trudge onward. Meandering, meditating. Trying to compose my own personal symphony.....My Fourth Movement.


  1. Your blog has given me the inspiration to finally start writing my children's book about Milo! I have put it off for so long!! I started this morning! I will let you know how it progresses!

  2. way to go Helen! Can't wait to read it.
    And yes, howie, sisters rock don't they!!


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