Monday, 28 September 2009


When I was in grad school many years ago, the Professor, on the second week of a particular class, was checking attendance. Inevitably, students at the beginning of a new semester would add or drop courses after getting a preliminary overview of assignments and interests.

And so he asked, “Has anyone changed since last week.” Total silence. Clearly no meaningful business occurring here. At which point, being a mature student, and not at all shy in manner, I stood up and said, “Professor Mark, we have all changed since last week, in one way or another.” Pause. And then he smiled, allowing for a few titters from the small gathering.

But isn’t it the truth. We change daily, hourly. As women, we know we can spin from one mood to another depending on the right smile, hug, or brand of chardonnay. Sometimes the changes are not immediately perceptible. We wake up one morning and discover that our children are now adults, we have gray hair, or a new wrinkle, or an extra three pounds. How did that happen?

But when we break from the routines of our days, take holidays, spend time playing with grandchildren, get a massage, discover a new author, we can palpably feel the flow of energy, involvement, metamorphosing thought, word and deed.
Time slips away imperceptively if we let it. And like most women my age, I have alternated between running to keep up with family, career, the occasional crisis, and then living in reflection of so many events that passed too quickly without being fully savoured.

In an effort to stay the rampaging of my life, just a little, and because I am turning 69 this year, and therefore, theoretically, beginning my seventieth decade, I have decided to begin a year of living purposely, of taking more chances, and consciously planning at least one new experience for myself each month. Instead of time charging ahead of me, in spite of me. I am going to take control of my life, to create each day, week, and month of this first year, and ultimately the entire daring decade, with purpose and meaning. In other words, my goal is to explore the world and myself like never before.

I am equally excited about the “plan” and about chronicling the events, twists and turns. Part of my definition of “control” also means putting myself in the way of the unexpected. I will visit new areas of Canada, the USA, Paris, Venice. I will finish my novel. “Do I dare to eat a peach?” Of course I will. And I will not walk crablike backwards. I will greet each morning with a grand “Hello, Gorgeous”, and not let the parade pass me by. If not now, when? How about you? Come share the feast of finessing time with me.


Wisewebwoman said...

Well, I picked up on your 'never missing another sunset' at the beginning of the year and followed through - I hope you can say the same!
I have to stop behaving as if I have 200 years to live and live with a sense of urgency.

Marylou said...

Well, hello again, WWW. And how wonderful of you to have met the challenge with enthusiasm...I have tried my best to meet the evening as it sometimes rages to a close...we have an elevated area at the back of our property that makes a grand location for viewing the sky in early evening. As for this coming year...I will continue the same philosophy (of paying attention) in as many areas as I can..."urgency" is indeed the operative word as well..."Times winged chariot..." and all that...

20th Century Woman said...

I think it's great to keep on keeping on, to do lots of different things, to create, to read, to think, to love. It's also important to cut ones self some slack. Have a lazy day, eat a piece of chocolate, take a nap, let the young wait on one from time to time. The truth is, in time you reach a point when you begin to slow down. It's okay to take life a bit more slowly. I am 9 years older than you, Marylou. I was a lot speedier when I was 69. But I must say I have enjoyed the last 10 years a lot, so more power to you. Have a ball!

Starzz said...

How wonderful to see you have written again. I am up early this morning and thought of you, and came here to see if you had given us another "jewel" to think on.
As I read your phrase "Hello Gorgeous" I could hear your 'delicious' mother's voice in my head. I admire your sense of spirit Marylou. You are an inspiration.