When my daughter was in her 20's, she and some friends were sitting in a bar taking turns deciding if each person was a glass half empty or glass half full type. When they got to my daughter, one of her friends laughed and said that she was not only a glass half empty type, but a yes-my-glass-is-half-empty-and-which-one-of-you-drank-it type. I was reminded of that story this weekend. Like many women who write, I also read a lot of blogs. Some are quirky, some helpful, some are relevant to me, some are so completely removed from what I do and where I am in life as to be fairly hilarious. Most of them, however, are upbeat, fun to read, inspiring, glass half full blogs. But every so often I read a blog that is not only a little sad, but downright depressing.
The surprisingly sad blog was by a woman I have been following for about a year. The author is a great writer and I have really enjoyed looking at the world thru her eyes via her keyboard. But in this entry she talks about goal setting and asks the question what do I do with the time I have left? That question took me aback. What an odd way of looking at your life, I thought, at time left rather than as time yet to come. It's as though she has a use by date that she somehow is privy to. Yes, I know we have a finite time here on planet Earth, but that has always been the case, we were never promised a forever Earth life. She said her goals now were not to improve herself, not to make any advances or changes, that is for the youngins. We mature folk should strive not to lose what we have. Well, I have news for her, if that is your only goal in life, to not lose, then you are sure to be disappointed. We will all lose things, some big, like loved ones, some minor, like the ability to do 50 jumping jacks, and some inconvenient, like our hearing. Some of these losses will creep up on us slowly and some will pour over us like waves at the beach. But lose we will.
Yes, we are all growing older. Yes, sad things happen in life. But at the risk of sounding like Pollyanna, if you are focused on the sad or lost, then your head is turned the wrong way, my friend. If you don't snap your head around quickly enough, you are going to miss what is coming at you, and make no mistake, there is stuff coming at you.
Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Don't miss it by looking backwards, hanging on to something that happened in the past, regardless of its impact on your life, or regretting the road taken or the number of years that have passed. Focus on what lies ahead. Sure, there comes a point in your life when you realize that you will never be a rocket scientist or discover a new planet. But the chances of me doing that in my 60's is just a little bit less than me doing that in my 30's...it just isn't in the cards for me. That doesn't mean I can't do a lot of things in the coming years. As to goals, I have a bunch...learn to speak French, travel to Ireland, bake a perfect cheesecake, laugh with friends, drink wine, watch more sunsets and maybe some sunrises, hug my kids, teach my dog not to lunge on his leash (yeah, that's not going to happen), sit on the porch swing with my mom, and most of all, do what brings me joy. The only thing most of us leave on this Earth is the memory of who we were and what we did in the minds of those we love and were loved by. I want to be remembered as having a glass not only half full, but spilling over and dripping on the floor full. Hopefully of a nice Pinot Grigio.