Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Summer To-Do List Revisited

At the beginning of the summer, I made a list. ( My Summer To-Do List 6/29/15).

 I also wrote,

I can't see making a list of ridiculous, time consuming things. But then, who am I to judge someone else's interests? If someone really feels they want to have a weed picking contest, or a frozen t-shirt competition, go for it. Perhaps others will think my list is silly.

A few days ago, I went to a friend's cottage for a short visit. We sat and gabbed. At some point, as all good friends do, she pointed something out.  Interestingly enough, what she pointed out had already settled into my thoughts. She told me that my summer to-do list seemed very small and ordinary for me. My lofty, grandiose schemes, creativity, spontaneity, and adventures no longer seemed to be a part of my persona. To a point, she was correct.

After recently reviewing my summer list, I decided that I in fact made a list for the sake of making it. Most of those things were not anything I really wanted to do, plan to do, or need to do. I was desperately clinging onto something. It's true that I didn't want to fritter away the summer. Winter gets frittered away enough through bad weather captivity. By using a list,  I thought I was planning a direction, a guideline. I wasn't.

What I actually accomplished was to come up with mundane things that some people might be happy to complete. I made a list of "safe", old lady activities. Has it come to that? Have I become fearful of creativity, spontaneity, and adventure? Am I so old now and so in tune with my own mortality, that I feel my ship has sailed?

I've come to realize that eventually, our world gets smaller and smaller. There's the joke about regressing to an infantile state....soft food, drooling, crib like bed, diapers, when one gets old. Actually, if you think about it, that's all pretty true. Senior years for some become more and more like infancy.

My dad and stepmom moved to a condo full of older adults. Their world was pretty much contained in that building. Everything from friends, to entertainment was right there with little need to think, plan or venture out without a preplanned tour. Of course there were some people within those walls who were freer and more willing to live a larger life.  I'm not saying there's anything wrong with either choice. It happens. Some gain comfort from knowing what each day will bring, rather than having to deal with uncertainty. This lifestyle offered the best opportunities, safe opportunities until death. Some people's worlds become even smaller if they end up in a nursing home or are hospitalized. Their community becomes the community of doctors, nurses, orderlies.

So my point I suppose is this. At this present time, I am very fortunate that my community continues to be the whole world. I have to stop living as though it isn't. I don't need to be tied to a place of safety and comfort where I can enjoy myself on a miniscule scale until I die. I need to stop making ridiculous lists that contain baking and berry picking as highlights.

 I don't imagine there'll be many more activities crossed off that list this summer, unless it's something I really want to bubble blowing!

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