Monday, January 4, 2016

Looking At Life

Today is all about rush, rush, rush. We don't have time to wait.  In fact, I heard my one granddaughter complain because it was taking so long for the microwave to zap her food.

We are a world of "instant."

I once heard somebody say "Take time to smell the roses" to which the reply was "I did. They didn't smell all that great."  Hmm?  Maybe this person was smelling roses raised for one of those $200 bouquets - you know, maybe 4 to 6 red roses and a bunch of carnations and baby's breath and ferns.

Yes, we do live in a world where we can't take the time to sit back and just let the scents of the day assault us while we rock.

Imagine a warm day, not too hot, but definitely a mint julep or lemonade day, sitting in the shade, rocking gently in a white wicker rocker. The summer breeze caresses your face with a whispering hint of roses and you stare off into the baby blue azure tinted sky.

No, you can't.  Why?  Because you're sitting in a sterile 10 x 10 foot cubicle (if that big) slaving over a job that needed to be finished at least 20 minutes before you got it.  The boss is chewing your butt for a lousy job because his boss is chewing him for a lousy job.  As my buddy once stated - It doesn't matter where on the hill you live, you're always in the valley and everything flows downhill.

I retired in 2006 on the very last day of that year.  Due to the holidays and weather, my departure was barely a blip on the screen.  Okay, it was more like a dot too much ink on the line... like a hesitation of the pen as it draws a line.

In the years since, I have tried to find some semblance of my former lifestyle but can't.  I mean, I still do things but there isn't that urgency.  There isn't somebody over my shoulder screaming it should have been done yesterday or last week.

In fact, the last few years have seen a new vision in my sight.  Sure, I've had cataract eye surgery, but it isn't that kind of new sight.  It is more insight.  I realize now that what doesn't get done today will get done tomorrow - maybe.

I think my first trip in 2007 can sum it up.  We, my wife and I, were traveling to California with her brother and his wife (they'd retired about 10 years earlier) in the RV.  I was tooling down the highway, clipping along at the speed of traffic.  Dare I say, nearing 80mph?  The gas in the RV was being sucked out but that wasn't of consequence.  My BIL noted my speed and informed me that we had plenty of time.  We didn't need to go from Ohio to California in an afternoon.  The minimum speed on the interstate is 55.  He said we could probably enjoy the trip more at about 60-65 mph.  I put it on cruise but found my foot easing the gas pedal down to keep up with traffic.  We made California in three days.  I just couldn't get the hang of "easy does it" and "we got time" to slow myself down.  I guess I was in one of those comedy routines: 7 Days, 6 Nights, 9 Countries, 15 Cities type vacations.

We need to learn to slow down.

It is now almost 10 years later.  I've learned to slow down.  I did some mulching around the yard.  In fact, the one area, about 12 ft by 35 ft took me nearly a week to do.  I'd go out, put down the newspaper, weight it and finally get the mulch spread over it.  It was a slow process.  But, then again, I had the time.  It wasn't like there was something pressing that had to be done.  The world continued to spin each day even though I hadn't finished my project that day.  When done, it looked good.

The same has happened in my driving.  I still tend to drive my car at interstate speeds... or better, but when I have the RV and we're traveling.  Okay, I sit in the driver's seat of the RV and relax. Yes, I'm that damned idiot in front of you going maybe 50 on a back road or 60 on an interstate.  You see?  I have the time to enjoy the roses.  By roses, I mean, the scenery of the highway.  Just look at the homes and fields and wild flowers and gorgeous woods.  There is so much to enjoy.  Don't just figure the cliche is about roses - roses are the scent of life.  Enjoy them.

Maybe, just maybe, I am seeing all this beauty because I can now see some stars starting to shine in the twilight of my years.  Yes, the sun is beginning to set.  I realize this.  I know my body can't continue to hustle and bustle.  It takes more time to do things but they do get done - in time.  Maybe not in what you consider a timely fashion, but it is timely in my lifestyle.

I just celebrated my 69th birthday on 12/31.  Yes, that means, this year I will be 70.  No, I'm not old but I am no longer in the summer of my life. Those sky blue azure tinted summer skies are long gone.  I would like to say I'm in the autumn of my life. I hope that my winter will be a good one and to be honest, I'm hoping and praying winter is a long, long way off. LOL.

Until my eyes close for the very last time, I want to be able to say - I stopped and smelled the roses.

Until next I ramble on...

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