Thursday, November 19, 2009

Time is short

I think maybe it started three years ago with Cliff's open heart surgery, this feeling that our time isn't long. His close call made me aware of the brevity of life, so that I look at things from a different perspective. Both of us were affected in this way, actually, and discuss it often.
For instance: When we bought this mobile home, I intended to eventually have different cabinets installed in the kitchen. While I was putting it off, I realized we're not going to be here that long, so why not put up with the cabinets I have?
We moved back here to the pasture because I wanted a view, and more privacy than I had at the old house. I love my view: right now I can look out the window to my left and see the horses and cows grazing. It's been worth the hassle of moving. It was a good move! But remodeling the trailer house? I'm not so sure it would add one iota to my happiness.
Every plan I make these days is weighed against the time Cliff and I have left, and most are discarded. That is, unless it's some foolish-but-fun bauble. Like Cliff's Oliver tractor, or my Mac Mini.
The things on which I'm motivated to spend money are: Computers and the Internet, of course. Things that bring music into my life, like the Bose and the Ipod. Outdoor flower bulbs and plants (I guess I feel I'll be around in a year to see the blooms). And an occasional road trip with Cliff on the Gold Wing.
Clothes? Nope. My wardrobe becomes shabbier and more frumpy every day. Of course, I never was a clothes horse. Besides, I really don't go anyplace that requires much of a wardrobe.
I've even thought about knee surgery in light of how brief my life is, and have almost come to the conclusion that, no longer than I have to live, the pain isn't that bad. It only hurts when I stand too long, or walk too far. Right this instant, sitting at my computer, I'm in no pain at all.
"But you're sixty-five years old; you could live for another twenty years," I can hear you exclaiming.
Believe me, as fast as the time goes these days, twenty years is a puff of smoke, dust in the wind.
I have a couple of pictures and knick-knacks I need to hang. Does it matter whether I hang them or not? Increasingly, I find myself thinking it just isn't worth the bother.
I hope this entry isn't too much of a downer, but this is what's on my mind this morning. Spring will come again and crowd out such somber thoughts, and I'll be outside tending my garden and pruning my roses and taking pictures of the tulips.
Right now, I'm hearing "Autumn Leaves" playing softly in my mind.
"Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."
The Bible hits the nail right on the head.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Your outlook today is one I embrace often. None of us, old or young knows what tomorrow will bring. Today is what matters and if what you are doing and what you have is enough for today, that is what is important. I am content with what I have too. There is just nothing fancy about me or my house, but it all works and I have what I need and even more, I have today to do the best I can with. My motto: One day at a time, Lord.

Paula said...

I think twice about buying things now. What do I need that for?

Lindie said...

I want very little these days myself but am still thinking about getting my knees done. It is hard to walk around the grocery store! but I keep telling my girls not to buy me stuff, I have enough! I certainly didn't need another cook book but bought the PW one anyway just for the fun of it!

m.v. said...

this may be the right strategy for some things but I have a bad example of my great-aunt, she is 95 and can't get off the bed, when she does she screams and cries and begs to die because her knees are shot. 15 years ago when the decision to not go ahead with knee replacement was made no one knew she would live this long,it was scary and they didn't do it. she still has a clear mind and wonders aloud why she is still alive,with all the pain and suffering.

Penny said...

I don't comment often as you know, but have followed you for years. Rob and I read this post together this morning . . .he says, "Kudo's Donna!" We are getting ready to move for the sake of my health and as we look at all the "things" we have collected, we are thinking "who cares?" We just want to live out our lives simply. We don't know the day or hour of our Lord's return, whether we will rise with the other dead, but why smother ourselves with unnecessary things while we live? Like you said - out toys and joys are plenty enough. Blessings, Penny

madcobug said...

I think as we get older and our health starts going down we all probably experience some of those feelings. Sometimes when I am not feeling good I look around and see things that need doing then I think, who cares, no one ever sees it anyway except family.
I had my last back surgery last year thinking it would help but it hasn't but I still have hope that one day it will all be better. Gotta keep some spirit up so as not to get to depressed. Helen

Pat/Texas said...

Oh wow! You hit the nail on the head. Both are 65, my husband had stents inserted into his heart 11 years ago, vascular surgery in his leg last week. I had colon cancer (stage 1) 2 years ago. We talk about all the things we need to do around the place, but then think again. My reply is "why let someone else enjoy it or why spend the money on it". I love the way we are each day. I have even started cleaning out closets & drawers so someone else won't have to do it for me. I am also trying to prepare myself mentally in case I have to live alone one day. Thanks the the post Donna, I could never have put it in words like that. Pat

Pat/Texas said...

Gees, I even studder when I write. lol

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Great post, Donna. Wise words indeed, and at 46 I feel much the same way. I've always been very practical and pragmatic, even when I was younger. I was very mature for my age then, and I feel the weight of the years passing now.

I try to put things into perspective by thinking, "will this matter in an hour? tomorrow? next year? into eternity?" I've found that many things that I used think were important, aren't all that important after all when weighed against that scale.

And I think that's just reality, and not dim view of the future. There's still plenty of joy in the present day and planning for the future, while still being aware of that scale I mentioned.

Again, great post! You made me think a little. I think I might have strained something, lol. ;o)

Anne said...

Amen sister! Anne

Lori said...

I think no matter what our age it's good to keep things in perspective and really give some thought to what we buy, what we build, what we do. Any of us could be gone tomorrow, so I guess it's really important that we spend our days on things that really matter to us or that we really love.

MissKris said...

I don't know how I missed this one in the past day or two but I did. And again I marvel at our similarities in so many ways. I've been feeling this way for the past 10 years and I think I'm around 10 years younger than you?? I'm not sure on that, but I'll soon be 56. Anyway, it was a health issue back in 1999 that brought on my epiphany. I remember sitting in my hospital bed in the middle of the nite...all by myself...with my Bible clutched in my arms and filled with fear for the future - at that point no one still had any clue what was wrong with me. My kids were grown but not THAT grown yet, I hoped I had grandbabies in my future somewhere down the much was going thru my head. Then the Lord just kind of dropped peace down into my heart right then and there and I began to realize "Take it a day at a time." Well, some days that's a little harder to do than others but I really do believe I live my life that way now. The future? Oh well. I live in the here-and-now, don't sweat the little things, and spend a LOT of time smelling the roses with those long-ago-hoped-for grandboys. Wonderful post, Donna. Oh, and your kitchen cabinets? Mine have been stripped of their covering for at least the past two years, waiting to be refinished. I have neither the time nor the desire to pursue that in my crammed life at the moment. They'll get done someday, and I really don't care when that might be, HA!!!!