Tick Tock Tick Tock

So…it is here and now, the first day of the last year of my forties.  I have never been a person who cares much about her age, or the age of anybody in general, but today, this morning, I am thinking about time; time I have left, time I have wasted, time I have treasured, time I wish I could do over, time I regret…Remember how much Hook hates the sound of Tick-Tock Tick-Tock Tick-Tock??  The warning that the crocodile is near?  I feel a little bit like that today; life is happening, time is flying, and I am thinking about the reality that I am in fact more than half-way through my life, and what am I going to do about it, if anything??  The answer is probably nothing different.  My father has always used an expression that ‘you have to be ready to go‘ and I really do strive to live “pure-of-heart” in that way; no need for confession, cleansing, forgiveness…trying to do right all the time so that I never have to apologize or feel bad that I’ve acted wrongly.  Kind of strange to live like I am always ready to die, but I think it makes for an easier way to be a human on this planet.

I am alone here in my loft this morning, thinking and writing.  My boyfriend is still in Connecticut after performing two shows last night with his band,  my daughter is on her honeymoon in Bora Bora and still has more than a week of paradise adventuring to go, and so I am currently playing my 14 day starring role as both Momma and Nana, in addition to all the other parts I play, to my granddaughters, and here I sit, contemplating….nothing in particular is on my mind, I’m not feeling rueful or melancholy, just reflecting I guess, in a quiet recognition that this is the first day of the last year of my forties, and wondering if it matters at all?  Is it any different from any other birthday or year?   Tim Burton says that “every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Not necessarily in that order” and I like how that makes me feel…like it matters not that maybe I started in the middle instead of the beginning, or that I had an end long ago and am working backwards to something new and different…there are women my age with children in elementary school, my grandchildren both have friends who have moms who are my exact age, so their beginning, middle, and ends have been vastly different from mine.  When many of my friends were seeing the world and having parties and dating and being “wild” if you will, there I was keeping house, working full time, going to college full time, and raising a human…so my now, my desires for the life I want to experience “now,” could be more in keeping with the experiences that my friends had twenty or thirty years ago…so there is no defined end, middle, or beginning to any story…we all have our own unique narrative and I suppose all of us might have done things at one time or another that were very much out of the order of the norm…and that’s okay with me, I like being on the less crowded side of the mean anyway…

I could write that I have a bucket list, but that isn’t true.  I have wanderlust for sure, and I’ve traveled so little, that just about any place I get to go that is new to me excites me, but I’ve not got one of those detailed lists some people make, that might include jumping out of an airplane, running a half-marathon, or walking on burning coals.  That sort of Type-A thrill-seeking adrenaline rush ‘wish list’ is not my thing, or at least I never felt that it was.   I honestly got more delight than I think I ever could have imagined, driving to Buffalo with my boyfriend last month, and getting diverted with the gps onto long, winding, and hilly country roads, and seeing one fabulous red worn down barn after another, and the wondrous changing colors of the leaves on the trees.   I honestly felt more joy and pure happiness, than I think I ever could have imagined, helping my daughter with the decorations and details of her dream wedding and watching her get married to a man who treats her like a queen.  There are actually many things in my life that are “more than I think I could have ever imagined”  so I guess more than anything this morning I am feeling lucky.  I think that if we all just took a little more time, and made a little more effort to “notice,” there really are so many of those joys and gratitude inducers that are more than we thought we ever could imagine, in every single day.

My little business is truly little, and I am not “successful” by most anybody’s standards, including my own frankly, and while I earn enough for me to live, I don’t earn any to save, or to create the life I always imagined I would be living at this age.  But…worrying too much about what I will do for a job as I grow older, where will I live when I have to sell my house because the property taxes are just not affordable, how will I pay for anything if I can’t work,  just makes me sad and very stressed, and I don’t like to feel sad, and I certainly don’t like to feel stressed, so I try not to think of any of those things, and strive to do that whole ‘living in the now‘ business and being thankful for whatever fills my soul and my presence in the present.  When I really think about life and living, and only about myself, not comparing myself to my neighbors or my family or my friends, all of whom are far more successful than I by society’s standards, I notice that I have more love and more laughter and more beauty in my days than I probably deserve, yet, here I am, getting it, day after day.  Sure there are some presents I might like, but honestly nothing I need, and frankly, when you live in a really small house like I do, you find that ‘more stuff’ which you accumulate, and don’t actually use or need, is just clutter, and there is no “gift” in that…Honestly, this morning I got to thinking that despite my longings for travel, and wishing for some things to be different than they are, my reality is such that if I had to name right now what is missing from my life, or what things I would wish for when I blow out my candles tonight,  the answer is nothing…and I don’t know that a person could ask for more of a birthday present than that…to need nothing…that’s a gift in itself…


1 thought on “Tick Tock Tick Tock

  1. This is so good on so many levels- I feel every word of it- and love your journey and writing- I do wish you would hop on a plane and visit Rome, Venice- and the southern coast of Italy- the South of France and Cornwall- Dorset in the UK- I know you would love it- I bet there is a way you can get that too- but then you know me- R- I think you can have whatever it is- and nothing is good to want- one of the best things that exists- bravo and a fine year to you

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