Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Time Machine

Recovery from care giving is taking longer than I thought.

Not recovery from mourning a loss - although I still miss mom every single day.  No, this particular "recovery" is more related to my current life ... more of a constant discovery of where I am in the aftermath of care giving.

Don't get me wrong ... I can't imagine making different choices for the last 10 years.  Nope!  I would do it all again.  But I must have naively thought when all this care giving stuff passed into my personal history, I would just pull up my "big girl" panties, square my shoulders ...  and move on with  life exactly as I planned when I was 50.

Reality has been different.  It is more like a time machine experience.

When I stepped into the care giving time machine I was in my late 50s.  I was working and looking forward to all the free time and activities of a planned retirement.  Now I have stepped out of the time machine. I am ten years older.  The landscape of my life has changed - inside and outside.  My previous plans seem to have drifted away like a puff of smoke.

And strangely that is ok!

I suspect that this is nature's way of slowing down the "busy-bee mentality of living" and making space for a more mindful life.  Instead of running around checking off my retirement list of to-dos, I find my days naturally shifting in a different direction.

***

I can hear the comments rattling around out there.
  
"Huh oh!
She has lost it.
What the heck is she talking about?
Did she read this in a book somewhere?
Is she drifting into a esoteric space?"

In my defense I guess this is what happens when you have the time to think about things.  Weird stuff pops out.  :-)  But stick with me a bit longer.

***

Looking at the arc of my life from the 30,000 foot perspective - it looks like this:

Rocky childhood
Good health
Education
Stable marriage
Wonderful kids 
Professional success
Good friends
Nice abode
Dedicated care giver
Retired.
Good health (still)
Family Longevity

In the grand scheme of life, I am one of the luckier individuals on this planet.   Other than my early years and my care giving experience,  my life followed a predictable and satisfying pattern.

So the real question is ... what now?

I thought I had the answer to that question - I had retirement nailed!  Topping the list of activities was travel, volunteer work, a fun part time job, hiking .... just to name a few.  But I don't have this period nailed down at all.  My retirement plans seem jumbled and not in sync with where I am at right now.  And I think I know what happened!

 Mother Nature stepped in while I wasn't looking and said ...
 "Hey you, listen up!
You have slipped into the arc of your life
where things are processed differently
 in your mind
 and in your body.
You need to respect that.
So get over yourself!"

Ahh, thank you very much, Mother Nature, for that in-your-face reminder!  I didn't build any of that into my retirement planning.

Now my retirement has a more realistic focus:

Stretch those muscles every night so you can walk upright every morning.
Gently greet the new day and don't expect too much before coffee.
Keep walking so you can stay on your own two legs.
Eat carefully so your stomach doesn't punish you.
Drink water - dehydration is not your friend.
Simplify. Simplify.  Simplify.
Enjoy friends and family.
Read.
Knit.
Think.
Gracefully accept the gift of a long life by respecting the body that got you there.
And thank Mother Nature.  She really does know best.

If I could still have a wish list ... it would have only one bullet point:

  • Live in a world where the elderly are respected and relevant.


(Hmm... thinking, thinking)

Balder Dash!
Get rid of wishes.  They are a waste of time!

 I don't care about what the world thinks.
Respect your self, I say.
Don't see my worth?
Good riddins to you!
Your loss!
Step aside.
 You are in my way!
:-)

Yep!  That time machine has changed ALL my landscapes!


9 comments:

  1. I like your retirement focus, we have the same list except I don't knit! I exercise gently 6 days a week, I think that is key. I read "Jesus Calling" each day (it has a devotional for each day) for another good focus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am still struggling with the exercise portion of this plan. I am the queen of starting over and over on that.

      Delete
  2. That is exactly where I find myself right now! Redesigning my retirement years. It sounds to me like you have a good handle on it. I am working on it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I have tailored my goals to match my current life. Some of my goals - like travel and hiking - had to slip off the list just because they do not include my husband now with his disability and he does not want to travel or hike. I'd like to think that his limitation wouldn't impact me, but it does.

      Delete
    2. Yes, they do limit us when they have limitations. I was never one that could go off and leave Richard and do my own thing. I have friends that do though. Just no my style!

      Delete
  3. Isn't it funny how when you are young you have your life all figured out and then you find out that life is in charge, not you, so you learn to adjust and go with the flow. I love your plan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Figured out? Not sure. I like to think I am accommodating the realities of having 68 years under my belt and adjusting my life to match that - within limits, of course. There is always room for improvement.

      Delete
  4. I love your plan. Although I left my job just over a year ago my current life doesn't feel like 'retirement', just a new page in the book. As for my plans, ha, it's a work in progress and that's ok. So. any knitting plans for August?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Knitting plans? Well I am knitting for sure. I don't blog about it all that much - I guess I have never been a big fan of sharing finished projects of my own, but I do enjoy seeing the work of others.

      Right now I am working on a shawlette for my daughter-in-law and a shawl for me to wear at my niece's wedding in November. And there is a list of projects waiting in the wings.

      Delete

Yes, you do want to comment! I can see it in your face:-)