Saturday 2nd March 2019
It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.—Charles Dickens.
Growing up in and living in a number of states bordering Canada, March was often a month of winter's last gasp—heavy snow full of moisture as we neared spring—a real pain to shovel! By the end of the month I would be fed up with the white stuff, but knew spring was just down the road (often literally!) Crocus and daffodils, tired of waiting in the dark, would just burst through the snow.
I'm a March baby, and as the calendar pages flit by, I am becoming increasingly aware that I am technically 'old'. I am actually slightly older than my grandparents were when I thought of them as 'old', so there is no doubt where I stand! I am also mindful, especially after losing my younger brother and close friend last year, there are no guarantees as to how long one will live. If there are things I want to do—my 'bucket list'—I need to get on with it and start ticking boxes. I can no longer think of this list as something I'll get to as some future time when money and time align.
As my birthday approaches, it is with the acceptance that while my brain might still sometimes function like a teenager's, my body is old. Bits of me are sagging or spotting or wrinkling or aching. But I want to think about what life has to offer, not what has been taken away. I have at least a dozen more books rattling around in my head, in many stages of development. I have at least a dozen places I want to visit—India, Vietnam, Japan... Over the past year I've developed a keen interest in evolutionary biology, travelling by train, cooking, and I'm seriously thinking of buying another piano.
I don't want to become a person who has something lined up for every second of the day because I value 'day dreaming' time. But I am coming to terms with the idea that I can (within financial limits!) do what I like, when I like. It is almost a dangerous freedom because it would be so easy to squander this precious gift. So, for someone whose time has almost always been organized for her by school or work and family obligations, I know it will be all about getting the right balance between accomplishing what I want to and making room for and relishing the spaces in between.
And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.—Abraham Lincoln.
Photo is of me dressing for my prom in 1969- 50 years ago!!