Seems some people - including me - view my time as planning a trip, going on a trip, or being between trips. My sister once suggested that we're taking all these trips because I'm running from something. I don't think that's the case any more, since my visit last year to the Nebraska cemetery where my mother's grandparents are buried. However, I know we'll slow down. We're getting older. Our energy level has diminished. We have aches and pains. At the moment my husband is looking at knee replacement. I have a chronic back issue. We're probably not going to be doing any more inn-to-inn hiking as we did in Ireland 13 years ago, or any more group hiking trips, as we did in the UK and in Iceland ten years ago. I have a niece/friend who's 41. I read her Facebook page and I am exhausted by the pace and number of her activities. I used to do that myself!
Now that we can see our elder years coming along, the trips we take are sweet and special. Whether a road trip to see where my family came from, or a weeklong adventure with my sister to California to visit an old and dear friend, or a flight to Cancun to celebrate the wedding of a daughter - none of them are idle ventures. I make my list of places I want to see, and the ones that float to the top are the ones that might be too much for us a few years from now. Like Australia and New Zealand, Antarctica, and Africa. Maybe they're all too much now. I can't muster up the enthusiasm I once had for these more exotic destinations. I used to have disparaging thoughts about elderly people on cruise ships in harbors, taking day trips. Now I can see to a place down the road where they'll be just right, maybe.
What defines me still, though, is curiosity. For one of our Kentucky nights next month, we're staying in a lodge in a state park rather than in a motel in town. Why? I expect I'll meet more Kentucky people in the park. To talk, to see how we are different and how we are the same. Maybe to meet someone who's related to me, since my grandmother's family were coal miners in Kentucky for generations. On six of the fourteen nights, we'll be staying with other empty nesters, members of the Evergreen Club. One night, at the request of our host, I'll be speaking to the Lions Club of Shelbyville, Tennessee. On the topic of my choice! I'll probably combine the Evergreen Club, the genealogy, and our book into some theme called "community". See where curiosity gets me?
Our book sales are coming along. We're getting good comments, especially from vets. We're taking copies to seven Vet Centers in Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. Art comes home with $17 and says, "I sold another book." Who would have guessed a retired "lineman for the county" would be doing this?
I'm thinking my life is still interesting, just different. I'm probably entering the "wisdom" part of my life. I've got no regrets so far about the part that's gone, because new stuff comes up constantly.
Isn't that great?