Sunday, April 13, 2008

A golden age ... ...

I suggested the idea of this post not very long ago, and I'm going to at least get started on it today. I have a couple of hours to think and write. We'll see what I can up with. (It might be subject to extensive editing later, you understand.)

The question was, "If you could be any age at all, what age would you be?"

And, now that my thinking cap is firmly on, this reminds me of a wonderful children's book that Madeline L'Engle wrote many years ago, called A Wrinkle in Time.

Intended for junior high school age, as I recall, her creative story won the Newberry Award for excellence in children's writing. In it, she invented the term, 'teseract' (sp?).

I'm not going to add any more comments about it here. I suggest that you look it up for yourselves, and delight in your own discoveries.

OK, back to the question, "... ... any age at all, what age ... ...?"

Well, for sure I would not want to be under 21! The very early explorative years of language formation, walking, touching, absorbing at an ever-accelerating rate anything and everything within one's immediate surroundings are truly awesome. Wondrous as that stage of one's life is, I would not want to have to again go through the years of puberty, peer pressure, awkwardness, and uncertainty about what my future might hold.

"All right, what about 30?", you ask. Good question. I remember -- when I was an undergraduate in college -- thinking that 21 was a little 'out there'. Then, of course, a year or two later, I thought, "Well, 30 must be REALLY old!" When my very best friend sent me a bouquet with a card proclaiming, "Happy 30th!", two months early (she had forgotten my actual birth date), it almost destroyed a beautiful, long-time relationship!

"40?" Now THAT's a good one! That's how old I was when I came back to Houston from New Orleans, thirty years ago. In my opinion, '40' is the prime of your life!!

Do I wish I was 40? Yes and no. My third husband had a saying he was extremely fond of. It went, "If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas!" I came to hate that saying!

"50?" Incredible as it might sound, I don't even reMEMber my 50th birthday!! Half a century old, and you don't remember it?!? Must not have been significant, huh? (Certainly, there were no birthday parties or significant celebrations.)

I'm simply going to have do a post on the history of "6" in my family. It really has a lot to do with my life, particularly in the last twenty or so years.

Let's go to "60". Would I? Probably yes, the main reason being that I would like not to have some of the physical aches and pains that I now have. (Before any of you start to feel sorry for me because I have a few aches and pains, let me remind you that aches and pains come with age, and I have earned them -- sometimes the hard way, OK? None are life-threatening -- that I know of, anyway. 'Stuff' happens!)

One thing I would DEFINITELY do differently is not take an early retirement at age 62!! I did that for three reasons: 1) I wanted to visit my stepmother in Minnesota. She was in a retirement home, and was suffering from the early stages of dementia Alzheimer's; 2) I wanted to attend my high school class's 45th reunion; and 3) I wanted to scatter my sister's ashes where I thought she would like them to be.

"Ifs and buts, candies and nuts" ... right? Right. If I had only one to "do-over", that's where it would be.

You know, we can all look back on our lives in retrospect, and see a thing or two that -- if we had our druthers -- we might change.

What's done is done. What's happened has happened. What is, is.

My question to you today is, "If you could be any age at all, what age would YOU be?"


Tammy said...

I've been thinking on this post since I read it. Very interesting subject......

If I could go back to one year in my life it would be the year I was 18. It was a big year for me. I left home and moved clear across the entire country to be a nanny in New York City. I had a lot of freedom, yet still felt a lot of security. I saw so many things, did so many things, discovered who I was, and learned a lot about myself. I think it was the happiest year of my life to date.

Now if I could choose one age in my life to be, I can say I am looking forward to my late forties and early fifties. I look forward to the kids being gone and me being able to visit them. I look forward to Monty and I being freer to do the things WE want to do. I love the kids, I love home schooling them, I made those choices of my own free will. But I feel like I've put ME on hold for a very long time. It will be nice to live for myself. Does that sound selfish? Probably. But I have given and will be giving up what I feel are probably my "best" years to the kids. Completely. And I don't feel bad about wanting time for myself in the future. Also, Monty and I have only known each other with kids involved in our lives. When they are gone, what will we think of each other? Not sure, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

So my one year that I've lived would be 18. My one year (or a few) that I am guessing at will the time shortly after the kids are gone.

Tammy said...

Serious typos. Oh well. lol

I think I might use this idea on a blog post of my own down the road, if you don't mind. :)