Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This Week's Midlife Crisis

I have to confess that I haven't been writing at all for the past several weeks.  Between The Sam Stanley Experience's high school graduation and the Drama Queen's, well, drama, I haven't had much energy to face any of the projects I have unfinished on my flash drive.  I was taking a mini-nap yesterday afternoon and as I was drifting off to sleep, I had these thoughts:

I am 47.  Soon I will be 50.  Then I only have 10 years before I am 60.  When I am 60, I'll be old.  I have less than 10 years to get my sh&t together and do the things I want to do. 

Okay, I know that 60-47=13, which is more than "less than 10".  But I was in the doze-zone, so my reasoning may have been a little off.  More to the point, who says that 60 is old?  I mean, I realize that 60 is closer to old than, say, 30.  Then a friend told me about a relative who died of a heart attack at the age of 50.  Which is definitiely not old.  I also know that I could get hit by a runaway Metro bus on my way to the parking garage after work today, in which case "old" is irrelevant.

I am working to redirect my perspective to constantly remember that ALL WE HAVE IS TODAY.  This is a pretty common statement in the recovery community...that whole "One Day At a Time" thing is not only about sucking it up and getting through life without your addictive substance one day at a time, but also about enjoying the moments that you have.  Plan for the future, but live in today. 

I find that I do much better if I have a plan, a schedule, some organization.  If I just get up and say, "Okay, world, lets just do whatever," I don't get much done and I end up tired with nothing done.  If I have a plan, I get stuff done.  The funny thing is, it's not necessarily the stuff on the list, but it's still good stuff!  I believe that this is an old Jewish adage:  MAN PLANS, GOD LAUGHS.  And I'm okay with that!  I have a great sense of humor.  I used to get really twisted up if I had a plan and someone came along and threw me a monkey wrench.  I would pout and fuss and do the door slamming thing.  But something--maybe it's the AA thing, maybe it's maturity--has allowed me to adapt to detours. I have my own personal motto, which I am trying like heck to get the Girl Scouts to adopt:  We don't have to "be prepared".  We can IMPROVISE!

So for today, my PLAN is to clean up the lab, organize my project plans and recent data, make sure my independent study students have plenty to keep them busy, and in the slow moments, open the file that contains the outliney/synopsis thing for one of the WIPs I have, and expand that a bit. Maybe I'll go for a walk. 

Now, my boss might come in here in a few minutes full of shower ideas (she gets her "best" ideas in the shower.  It is my job to listen politely and explain why none of those experiments are worth our time), and I might have to spend the rest of the day trying to stay awake while reading journal articles, researching a whole new project, one of my kids might call me and need to go to the doctor or something.  A Metro bus could crash in front of my building and I might be needed to rescue people. 

You just never know!  What I do know is that I have a great life, and I'm going to enjoy the next five minutes! 


  1. 60 isn't OLD!!!! lolol But yes, do enjoy the next five minutes, because you're not going to get them back. If only we could think like this 24 hours a day! :o)

  2. Love this: "We don't have to "be prepared". We can IMPROVISE!"

    Or just conflate it to "Be prepared to improvise!" *grin*

    I agree about lists, too. I like to make To Do lists because I get so much done while avoiding the tasks on them. ;)