Saturday, August 25, 2007

Life Lists -- Not Just for the Young

Turn 50 and your perspective takes a quick 180.

Suddenly you see how much life is behind you, and how little is before you. Between those two views, the realization hits you that you've been spinning your wheels for the last 30 years.

Younger generations seem to find life lists a way to keep their focus, to make their lives count. According to an article in the New York Times:
"Once the province of bird-watchers, mountain climbers and sufferers of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the life list has become widely popular with the harried masses, equal parts motivational self-help and escapist fantasy."
But at 50 or 60 or 70 -- can one really make a life list and it means something?

I say, "Yes!"

At 95, Mom just took her first cruise. Granted it was on Lake St. Marys, but still she is finding new experiences and enjoying each one.

Maybe I can't dance all night, but who knows, maybe I could see Mt. Kilimanjaro before I die.
If that is really something I want to do.

The problem of arrested development, something I seem to suffer from, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. So the list I've been contemplating recently includes things I'd like to do -- again.

1. Lay in the grass on a summer night and stare up into the tree, watching the lightning bugs dance.

2. Feel the wind and spray on my face while racing across the surface of water -- lake, river, ocean -- it doesn't matter. I just want to experience that freedom, that giddy feeling of rushing toward something fun that is a bit unnerving like riding in my uncle's boat.

3. Write an essay that makes me giggle with delight.

4. Talk all night with friends....

Maybe if I revisit a few things, I will find some new items to put on a life list. Regardless of old or new experiences, life should not be wasted. And that means realizing that age has nothing to do with quality of life -- you're never too old to live.

Just ask Mom.

3 comments:

Ruth D~ said...

Ive only got six years on you, Dawn. I understand the pause at the have century milestone to assess "progress" and how much time might still be available to get things done that just never did. I love stories about older women who live life to the fullest. That's my plan. But . . . I have to start soon. :>)

Rick Bylina said...

Fifty...the pause that refreshes. The list:

1. Not to kill anyone else.
2. Save Britney Spears' kids.
3. Visit Ayers Rock.
4. Swim to the North Pole.
5. Dance naked in Times Square.
6. Kiss the Blarney Stone.
7. Run with the bulls at Pamplona.
8. Get a novel published.
9. Have a speaking role in five movies.
10. Find the Holy Grail.

I'd put down lose some weight, but I know that will never happen.

Dawn said...

Rick,
Are you sure you haven't already kissed that blarney stone? :) Great list. I'd move Britney's kid rescue to number one, though. The sooner the better.

Dawn