Our lives schedules and deadlines have a purpose, I guess. In some regards they keep us accountable to each other and to society. I think the problem with them is the power they have over our lives. They can become our life. And they can obstruct life, taking us away from what really matters.
The opposite is Mystery! Mystery is what happens when we allow life to evolve rather than having to make it happen all the time. It's what happens when we spontaneously decide to walk to the store, or notice the cold wind as it brushes across our cheeks, or when we share the gaze of a stranger. It happens when we allow ourselves to notice, to experience, to see, to wonder, if only for a moment, about the world around us.
For me, these little moments of mystery are almost sacred! They stick with me for weeks... sometimes years. I'm thrilled by the notion that something wonderful can happen at any time if I only open up to it. And being an intentional ager gives me the opportunity to "stray as (I) have never strayed before". I can go to the art museum first thing in the morning, I can go to the library to sit and read all day. I can play music with a friend's child. I can go to the river and listen and watch.
So much of life is about either youth or middle age. We have no direction or map to navigate those days when "time alone will be our guide, our companion, our goal." So we are tempted to do as we have always done...with schedules and deadlines.
Later life is a time to harvest all of that early effort. Finding a little bit of mystery in each day opens up the possibility to see the world differently and to bring our lives in to wonderful perspective and perhaps some healing. Can we learn to trust that it is okay to seek out the mystery?