Friday, November 18, 2011

Future, Past and Present

I'll celebrate my sixty-fifth birthday before the end of 2011. Seems strange in a way. I used to think of fifty as old and, for many years, joked that I hoped I died before I turned fifty. Why? Because most of the older people I knew were grouchy, set in their ways and unpleasant company. I didn't want to join their ranks.

Julie and I have been planning for the future. We've checked investments, talked schedules and identified goals to be completed before I quit work. We're on a "five year plan" as Julie likes to call it. I hope to work until I'm seventy and one-half. This will coincide with Julie's plan to quit work and the end of the spring term at the university. But I'm not as interested in the future as I am in the present.

Nor am I interested in the past. I did my "twenty-five years in hell" as I like to define it. Once I was free my two most enjoyable activities were grocery shopping and going to the laundromat. That may seem strange but they represent control. I was in control of my life. Life began to improve, become more hopeful and, finally, took on a sense of euphoria.

I like my life with Julie, I enjoy the present, my job and co-workers, the things I give myself to and the things I do for recreation. I find myself reading more which is a good sign. Throughout my life those times when I quit reading for enjoyment were bad times and low spots. I like to think an increase in reading is a good sign.

Lately I've been wondering why the present is so good, why I generally feel a sense of quiet euphoria most of the time. I know parts of the answer. I'm not wealthy but not impoverished, I'm aging but in good health and I have control in my life. I know genetics plays a part but not a determining part. Undoubtedly, a huge part of the answer is Julie. However, I'm wondering to what degree my sense of optimism, well being and euphoria can be attributed to conscious choices I've made in the last fifteen years. I'll never be able to identify a definitive answer which is OK. I'll just enjoy the moment.

2 Comments:

Blogger Buffalo said...

It's a gift to be treasured. No matter how hard we work and plan, it is still a gift.

11/18/2011 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Kathryn Grace said...

Thank you so much for sharing your good fortune and good feelings, Paul. What a pleasure! Frequently enough, people share their pain, but somehow not their delight in life, perhaps because many were taught as children not to brag "when there are so many less fortunate."

Lovely to hear the good.

12/01/2011 01:08:00 AM  

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