When was the last time you thought you knew everything?

If it’s ME you’re asking, that was another lifetime.  Kim and I met twelve-plus years ago, we’ve been married eleven, and if you know him it’s no surprise that I’ve learned a lot from him.  I wasn’t a rookie, I knew things … just not necessarily THESE things, not for sure.   So from the always beguiling viewpoint of my toothsome mentor …

LIFE LESSON #1:  It’s okay to be happy — you have to give yourself permission.

LIFE LESSON #2:  Just because someone looks like that guy your mother warned you about doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fall in love with him, get married, and live happily ever after.

LIFE LESSON #3:  Knowing when to be satisfied is the key to life.  {Spoiler Alert:  It’s when The GOOD arrives, not just the Good Enough.  Knowing the difference between GOOD and PERFECT is central to the equation.}

LIFE LESSON #4:  With proper motivation old dogs can learn new tricks.  {Madison affirms that truth.}

LIFE LESSON #5:  Work is not the only honorable use of time, and is, in fact, an insult to the universe if not matched with an equitable amount of not-work.

LIFE LESSON #6:  The best way to get a job used to be a) say you know how to do it  b) go home and read the manual/book/instructions/recipe, and c) show up and do it.  Even though the world doesn’t much work that way anymore, the basic principle still applies in some way to most of life.

LIFE LESSON #7:  You won’t necessarily stay in command of your limbs and faculties right up until you die, so in case your heart/lung apparatus keeps performing longer than your motor skills and your brain stays on the job until lights out, you’ll need things to think about, so start deliberately cataloguing scenes in your head … memories of EVERYTHING.  The way the air smelled, the voices, all the sensations.  Every part of every face you ever loved … and the taste of kisses, all of them.  Because someday if you aren’t exactly independent anymore, and the hours get long and you’re going out of your freaking gourd, you can stop chasing nurses up and down the halls in your throttled-back Jazzy and take some time to remember the good shit.  Once you crawl into your empty box, snag a memory from the archives and get settled, you won’t even remember where you parked your carcass.  You won’t hear anybody, you won’t see anybody, they’ll assume you’ve come unhinged, which is perfect because they just might walk away and leave your wrinkled old ass alone until it’s time to ladle out the evening pudding.

*****

There are more, but I’ve been pleasantly hung up on #7 since last week, and I’m preoccupied with storing details in the database.  The weather triggered all of this — our early transition from hot-and-humid to autumn-is-at-the-door.  The air has changed, the leaves are turning, the students are back in town — it’s ridiculously easy now to memorize the feel of the mornings and evenings and what happens in between.

Last night I asked Kim to wake me up early enough to see the sunrise this morning, and by golly if that didn’t stick in his drowsy mind.  6:15am he’s standing right there, on the job, already dressed (I peeked), his smile threatening to blind me, so without actually opening my eyes I slid into my jammies and felt my way to the balcony (because he’d sweetly provided a hint).  The view that greeted me when I finally raised my eyelids was totally worth waking up for.  First of all, my husband — still smiling — and in front of him on the table two steaming mugs of coffee.  And the SKY, seemingly ALL of it, splatter-painted every shade of blue and pink.  We sipped our beans and listened to the city waking up while the big orange sun floated out of the trees in nearly the same spot the big orange moon did last night.  The air was clean, the sounds were a sampling of everything, those wafty little food-smells from up the street were insinuating themselves past the railing and making us consider our bellies, the sky was growing ever lighter, brighter, and more childrens’-movie-like, with its panoramic rays and white fluffy clouds and sheer natural drama until it all became so overwhelming I had to come back in and lie down.  I did better than Maddie — she was back in bed in five minutes.

*****

We aren’t really solidifying plans to end our days as wards of the medical system, I mean, who DOES that.  But if

*

Plan A) to get really ridiculously old but also miraculously in shape and just gradually eat less and less until we fade away right where we are

*

… doesn’t work out, and

Plan B) to spend the last of our cash on a fabulous trip around the world and then drive off a cliff together in a brand new Porsche

*

… has to be cancelled for lack of discipline and foresight

*

WE’D BETTER HAVE SOME GOOD STUFF TO THINK ABOUT. 

 

time_memory

Image

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carrie Rubin
    Sep 01, 2015 @ 18:02:27

    Great tips, all of them, but I too love #7. This here: “so start deliberately cataloguing scenes in your head”—Yes. I try to do that with things. I call it imprinting a memory on my brain. Lovely to pull up later when you need it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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