Thank you for all of your lovely Birthday wishes! Today I am officially a senior citizen at 55. I am eligible to live in any senior community I want. Quiet evenings, no small children except for the occasional well-behaved grandchild, shuffleboard tournaments. Sounds fun!
Well maybe not. Besides, other than the tournaments I already live in such a space, mostly. I know and like my two next door neighbors and most people in our neighborhood are quiet and respectful. On a warm spring or fall day I can sometimes hear the middle school kids if the wind is just right, and they are particularly loud. And occasionally on Saturday mornings during the summer I can hear the soccer games.
Sounds lovely right? So would it surprise you to know that there is a possibility that I will not be living here on my next birthday?
I’ve been listening to an audiobook for my second book club of the month called “The Measure” by Nikki Erlick. The question in the book description is would you choose to know how long you’re going to live?
I’m almost finished, and I can’t wait to see how it ends. I’m also very much looking forward to the discussion on Sunday morning. It has been so thought provoking.
Would I choose to live differently if I knew exactly how much time I have left?
This is a very different question for me now than it would have been 30 years ago. I have less life ahead of me than I do behind me. Even if I live as long as my grandmother who just celebrated her 96th birthday, I already know that my time is getting shorter, and I don’t really have the time left to waste on worry or what ifs.
One thing I’ve noticed about people as they get older is that they tend to get more conservative, cautious, careful, and even fearful. But I have spent most of my life already careful and fearful. Do I really want to get more so with my remaining years?
The answer is no.
Will the choices I’m about to make lead to a perfect life? Of course not. Such a thing doesn’t exist.
Do I risk moving to a place that is potentially dangerous for me to be me? Do I risk losing touch with the friends and family who have been so supportive of me? Do I risk having my heartbroken?
Yes, Yes and Yes.
Is the risk worth it? Yes.
Several things have to happen before a decision to move is made, but if those things do occur, I could very well be writing future blogs from a place with a much different view out my window. Possible even sooner rather than later.
Happy Birthday to me.