Sunday, August 25, 2013

Getting Old - er

It's amazing how life just continues moving on -- faster and faster.  I'm considered to be -- (looking around to see if anyone sees what I'm writing!) -- a "senior" now.  How in the world did this happen?  Why, just a week ago, I was thinking that I better enjoy life more, do more, play more, experience more, love my family more, you get the picture -- and now, I'm thinking I'm nearing the end, what is there left for me to do in the relatively short time I have left.  I figure, if my health continues to be tip-top, I've got around 10 good years left.  Notice I said "good years."  Who knows how long I'll live -- or if I'll want to live so long that I'm miserable and waiting for the end to happen.  In my family, you either go early (my grandmother was 56, my mother 77, my father 53) or very, very late (both my great grandparents that I was fortunate enough to know lived into their late 90's.)  I'm shooting for somewhere in between.

Well, reality is what it is.  One of my favorite (and existential, I realize) sayings is:  "What is, is."  It's that simple.

So what am I going to do about my "good ten years left"?   I'm still thinking.  But I can tell you one thing:  It's time to consider very seriously my "bucket list."    Twenty years ago, I lived in France as a graduate student.  It was a really difficult thing to do.  My husband had just recently died, I had a nine-year-old daughter, but I was given the opportunity to study in Toulouse, so despite a lot of reasons why maybe I shouldn't have done it, I did it.  And my only!!! regret is that I came back to the USA.  It's not that don't love the USA; I do.  But I also love the adventure, the thrill, the "being alive" feeling of living in a totally different environment.  And, let's face it, no matter where we go in the US, everything is pretty much the same as it was "back home."

I also had the opportunity to be able to live, albeit a much shorter time than I had anticipated, in Denmark a few years ago.  (The length of time there is another story I don't want to talk about -- or even think about.)  But being there just shy of three short months was glorious.  We, my family and I lived on a small island called Langeland.  I'm hoping that someday before too long, we'll be able to get mended what got broken and I'll be able to go back, at least for short periods of time.)

With all that in mind, I am hoping, and planning, to be able to return to Europe again in the fairly near future.  Remember, for me, the clock is ticking louder and louder all the time.  There are many, many details to figure out for this to work, but it's the highest item on my to-do list, so I just have to make it work.  I will.


Gail Dolphin said...

Love your post! I have have some of those exact feelings now...I have very similar thoughts about my family and wonder "how much longer" do I have to fulfill my dreams and to find contentment as an artist. My mother died at 39, my stepmother 64, my grandfather 60, yet my Dad lived a fairly healthy life till 82. I am now 55 and all of a sudden, don't want to waste another day doing something I'm not happy doing. Time goes so quickly...

Dottie said...

I fully agree with you, Gail -- and understand. I wonder how many of us are around who feel this way. I am going to make this happen!!