As I wind up another year, I always look back to recall some of my experiences and count my blessings. As the years have passed, these lists are longer every year- and that is ok. I am thankful for the time, experiences, and years I have lived. I am also often reminded of the phrase, “I always knew I would get old; I just didn’t realize it would happen so fast!”
Life has been full of unexpected surprises. When I was a kid living at home, I just assumed I would be like that forever with my parents making most of my decisions for me. Of course, as time progressed, I found life changing and I was living on my own. “Hey this is kind of fun.” I liked this phase of life. Few responsibilities, making some money on my own, buying my own car, staying up as long as I wanted and sleeping late when I choose. It was fun and comfortable. I was young, thin, had a little coin and could easily slide into the Trans Am I had bought. This was a pretty good gig. I think I’ll just stay here forever.
I enrolled in graduate school and met a lovely young lady and my interests changed again. We soon were married and started a home together. Our boys came along a few years later and we were consumed with work, raising our sons and making a life. Man, it was fun. I liked it so much, I decided I wanted to stay here forever. Life was good, we were healthy, everyone was busy and I truly enjoyed nearly every day and every experience.
Change came in spite of my resistance. The boys grew up, left home and started families of their own. My wife and I were a little older, but we were ok. Grandchildren followed and I discovered the excitement of loving and spoiling a grandchild. This too is kind of fun. Maybe I will just stay in this phase.
Life had other plans. I still felt good and pretty much the same as I did when I was young, but I began to get clues my life was changing. A waitress who served us mentioned how much she liked to wait on older couples---what? Was she just making a general comment or referring to us? Then I forgot to signal a turn at an intersection. Just a onetime oversight I am sure.
Other subtle changes occurred- I started driving my truck to the end of my drive to get my mail and hauling my trash tote in my Ranger instead of dragging it to the road for pick up each week. In the evening I often thought of something I wanted that was downstairs, but then decided it could wait until morning.
Recently, I had a couple encounters I really didn’t like. I slipped on my sweatshirt to run errands and realized at the end of the day it was on inside out. How many people did I see or talk to during the day? My mind went into contact tracing mode, not from Corona, but guessing how many people saw me dressed like this today! Did everyone but me, know it was on wrong? I was thankful I was wearing a mask while on my errands. My ultimate embarrassment for the week occurred when I made a turn into an alley behind one of our rental properties. It is a little tight, but I’ve made this turn a hundred times without issue. Today for some unknown reason I turned a bit short. I didn’t even see it coming until I heard that horrible scraping noise and realize a utility pole was digging into the rear fender of my truck. Did someone move that pole? What the heck was happening to me? Who am I and how did I get here?
So as my year ends, I look back with gratitude. Although I have had some embarrassing “Senior” moments it could have been worse. At least I have something to drive to get my mail, the items I left downstairs can wait until morning. I didn’t cause an accident when I failed to signal. I remembered to put on a shirt even though it was wrong side out and my truck incident—it is what it is and hurt no one except the truck I love and my pride.
Funny thing is I always thought I was in control and could decide where and what phase I wanted to stay in for life. God has another plan. I guess I will go with His plan. In the meantime, I’ll just continue to make the best of it. If you see me bumbling around, wearing mismatched clothes, talking loudly in public on my speaker phone or wearing shoes with Velcro fasteners- it’s just a phase and I am going to roll with it!