Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tick, Tock.

     Why is it that time passes so slowly when we are young, and want nothing more than to be older than we are? The young are always asking the question, "When will I be old enough?" Old enough to go to school. Old enough to date. Old enough to drive. Old enough to leave home. Time never passes quickly enough. Then, suddenly, time begins to speed up. Before we realize it, life is a blur of things past, and the future is today instead of tomorrow. With time whizzing past and no way to slow it down, I can't help pondering the best way to cope.

     When I started this blog, I was sixty two years old and filled with the remorse of aging. Facing all the major changes that happen in ones golden years - retirement, the effects of gravity, health issues, loss of  parents, loss of self-esteem, loss of identity, to name a few - I determine to evaluate, challenge and overcome the obstacles of aging. I took classes and reached out to friend both old and new, I tried new exercise regiments, experimented with my diet, organized my finances and legal documents, found new ways to generate extra income, and spent hours of reflective time evaluating my strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. All of it I documented and shared in my blog.

     Now, having just celebrated my sixty third birthday, I find I have a completely new attitude about aging. Besides realizing I probably need to change the name of my blog, I also realize there is no stopping time. At sixty two one still believes there is a Pause button. At sixty three, the reality rudely smacks you between the eyes. If you don't make the most of life now while you are still relatively fit in mind and body, you may miss the opportunity. Ten more good years is the fact. No more wasting precious time staring into space contemplating the "if onlys". The future is now, and it's past time to get on with it. It's time to write out that Bucket List, visualize those dreams, and put maybes into action.

     I've started my list, and I intend to make this the year that I start checking things off. Ten more good years. Ten items on my list. Ten things to look forward to, save up for, research, investigate, and challenge my spirit and my sense of satisfaction. This year, I hope to start sharing new adventures in my blog. Who knows where the journey will take us!

  1. Try riding a zip line. When I was a kid, my dad and brother built a zip line in our back yard. The cable ran from a tree behind our garden shed to another tree in the center of the yard. We climbed to the roof of the shed, grabbed the handles, and plunged into free-fall at the speed of lightening. The real trick was to drop to the ground before slamming into that last tree. Every kid in the neighborhood, as well as a few adults, tried their luck. Many also hit the tree. Still everyone had great fun, along with a few minor injuries. If we did that today most likely there would be a law suit. Times have indeed changed. But so have zip lines. I intend to explore the possibilities. 
  2. Try falconry. I have always been fascinated by birds of pray. In junior high school, I did an intensive report on the small but fierce sparrow hawk. I loved stories of mid-evil knights and kings who used hawks to hunt rabbits and squirrels. I was intrigued by the idea of training a bird,  so independent by nature, to return to perch on the arm of a human. I have learned that both North Carolina and Virginia have falconry organizations. I'm looking into attending one of their meets this fall.
  3. Visit rural France, and tour Provence. When my family lived in Europe, we spent a great deal of time camping and visiting as many countries as possible during the three years of our stay. One of my favorites was France. I savored the food, the diverse landscape, the glamor and art of Paris, the charm of country villages. I have been following a blog called My French Country Home. It is filled with pictures of architecture, food, flowers and antique shopping and life in the rural countryside. I'm hooked. The writer of the blog rents out a guest house, and I hope to one day visit her charming oasis.
  4. Take a glider ride. Why does the idea of soaring through the sky in a plane with no engine intrigue me so? I've always love the idea of piloting a small plane, and I have been a passenger in a few. My mother was one of the few female pilots during the 1930's, although she nixed the idea of me taking lessons. My husband was an army pilot during the Viet Nam war, and continued his career as a commercial pilot. So it seems only natural I'd catch the aviation bug, but the real reason I'd like to try a glider is for the silence. Except for the sound of air passing over the fuselage, it has to be the closest I'll ever get to feeling like a bird, riding the air currents with the wind beneath my wings. 
  5. Take more road trips. Years ago a family vacation meant packing up the car and heading down the highway. The journey WAS the vacation. Along the way we stopped at obscure roadside attractions, never missed a Stuckey's where we bought pralines, pecan logs and funny postcards, slept in motor lodges with swimming pools and a cafe, or visited relatives with cousins we loved. In the car we played I Spy or counted licence plates from different states. We cheered whenever we crossed a state line, and we studied road maps to see where we were and where we were going. I'd like to drive to Florida to visit some of my long lost cousins, and I'd like to drive across country because I haven't done it since I was a kid and it seems a more interesting way to visit my son and his family near Seattle than another boring airline flight.
   These are the first five items on my Bucket List. I'll be adding more. If you have any ideas about how to made any of these things reality, by all means share.

No comments: