Saturday, December 28, 2013


It's December 27th. There are not too many days left of the old year and a new year begins with a fresh start. I love the thought of the "fresh start"...that feeling that comes over me the day after Christmas and I want to clean the house of all the Christmas decorations and push the sofa out away from the wall, scrubbing beneath what has to have been a month's worth of dust that has accumulated underneath.

I was just sitting in my recliner thinking about how reticent I have been to write anything on my blog for such a long time. I seem to fall into that category of "too busy" most days but then when I think about "too busy with what" it makes me wonder: what is important to me and why do I set things aside that I am really interested in?

Last year my Uncle Cy passed away and left me a small amount of money. I had always said that if he did, I would purchase a building for myself that I could call my studio and I would have a private place to create art and just "be". Well, the studio has been set up at the far end of the backyard but much to my dismay I haven't found the time to get out there as often as I would like. I guess I have writer's block but in a more generalized way. It feels more like a time block.

Lately, I have found time to read a new Stephen King novel, attend some art classes at a local facility, and I even had some time to do some pre-holiday baking. I didn't feel rushed either. But I didn't find the time to sit here at my computer and write a post to my blog. And I really don't know why.  Is it truly writer's block or is there something more profound to the reason why I don't take the time to write?

The older I get the more selfish I seem to be with my time. I look at my mother who is twenty years older than me and I think how close she has come to the end of her life this past year. She has been in the hospital four times in 2013 and each time took her a little farther down. It takes longer to come back when you are in your eighties. "Bouncing back" doesn't seem to be an option. "Holding your own" is even quite difficult. Perhaps settling for just being here and alive is enough. She doesn't seem to want to learn anything new. She balks at the idea of traveling any longer (too afraid to get on a plane she says). "What have you got to lose?" I think to myself.

Life is a stange gift. When you are young you think that you will live forever and then before you know it, you look back and twenty, thirty, forty years have passed. Before you know it your options have dwindled down to less. Before you know it you don't have the time that you thought you did and you had better get doing all those things you set aside when you were young and had plenty of time.

Time...what a strange word or concept that is. Can I equate time with life? If I have "enough time" does that give me "more life"? Time seems to be a word that was made up to help people understand their limits. There are twenty-four hours in a day so we divide it all up into seconds, minutes and hours so that we can fit enough of what we need to accomplish into those divisions. But life? How do I justify spending my life, my gift? How do I reconcile what I want to do each day, each hour, each second of what I have every day that I wake up and I'm given another "day" (and night)?

I'm thinking that each day that I wake up has to be a fresh new day...a fresh start. I need to wake up with enthusiasm and zeal and ask myself "what do I want to accomplish this day" It doesn't have to be a huge accomplishment. Reading a book all day could be enough. Or relaxing on the front porch with a cup of coffee in my hand, listening to the birds. Or perhaps I would like to learn a new word or create a piece of art. Or do absolutely nothing but realize while doing "nothing" that I am actually doing "something". Something so simple, so special as making a choice. That's really what it all comes down to for me. Choice.

Choice shouldn't be something that is dictated by someone else...only me. After all: it is MY choice, isn't it? How I choose to live each day, how I choose to spend my time, how I choose to live my life...they are all personal. And all personal choices. Each one is a gift. Each one is a FRESH NEW START.

I choose life.


  1. we are the only ones that can make the choices in our lives....and you are right, we only get so much of do with it as you will...just dont waste it you know....smiles....

  2. Life is a strange gift. My own father has almost died twice this year and it has really put things into perspective for me.

  3. Hi, nice that you're back and yes, my mother is in her 889's and I am going through much of this too, although my mother has not been in the hospital...but rather is seeing the end of it all...slowing down losing interest...not caring...
    it just happened so fast
    and I am feeling my own turning of the wheel of life too...seems heading downward..toward sunsets.......we must keep each other company...
    and my artistic life....what artistic life

    1. Suz...yes...let's keep each other company. I would like that. I need to figure out just what my priorities are. I certainly don't want to be like my Mom and yours...losing interest, slowing down, not caring. Life is just too precious to waste it, as Brian so succinctly put it. (Thanks Brian) I am starting to feel free, are you Suz? With age comes the freedom to say and do whatever we want and we can just thumb our noses at those who might think us weird or "old". Hummppff!! I refuse! I am going to get a tattoo. How about you?? Want to join me?

  4. well said all. I do think when our family members begin to fade or die it sets us thinking in new ways about the shortness of life. I agree, taking each day and saying what can I do in this day is a good way to handle the concept of "time." For me though, I tend to let go of the word time and use the word energy. where is my energy going today, what do i have the energy to do. trying to take that cue from inside of me (energy) rather than outside of me (time). My energy flows in much different ways now that I am 68 than it did at other ages. It's all good and all interesting. Blessings to you in 2014 Suki

  5. Hi Teri. My Mom will be 92 this coming year and she still wants to do everything herself. I get over to San Jose as much as I can. My son also goes by and takes her shopping, etc. She wants to live alone and I don't know how long this will last. In any event I'm here in case she needs me. Happy New Year Teri and here's hoping that the new year will bring you much happiness and health. Take care.

  6. I've been just letting life come to me rather than chasing it. Each day unfolds another saga that I hadn't planned for and I rather enjoy it. It seemed the more importance I put on getting in as much activity and bucket list things... the faster the time went. When I just stopped and let it flow through me I find my days are longer and much more enjoyable. Others would think me wasting time by stopping the chase but I find I can really listen better to where my attention should be these days. Love is much easier to find and embrace when not on a rat wheel. My kids worry about! They think I should be busy all the time. Sitting in my kitchen and watching the birds, reading, and the daily routine around the home front keeps me happy and content. I feel no pressure to jump up everyday to run to an activity just to say I'm a busy retired senior. I am blessed that I can do this and don't have to work a day job now that I'm on social security. Keeping life simple works best for me. In small ways each day something comes my way in which I am helping someone even if it is within a smaller circle of people that need me....but at least I'm available to actually be of assistance to them. Most times those simple acts get over looked as not having much value.
    I LOVED this post Teri.

    By the way, I had a chance to visit my daughter in Elk Grove in November. We went to Auburn, Sacramento, SF, Berkley, and Pacifica. I'm in love with California! I am going to be back in Elk Grove the 24th of this month until Feb 7th for my granddaughters 5th birthday, and I am totally excited to get out of the tundra here in Chicago. The temp tonight will be -20 degrees! We've had a foot of snow and blizzard conditions. Can't wait for that warm orange glow California seems to give off the minute I fly in SFO. :)))

  7. I agree with Sukipoet above. I don't aim to use my time, I try to make best use of my energy. I do high energy activities when my energy is strongest, it always flags mid afternoon so that's usually nap time, amazing what a little re-charge can do. I love being retired and discovering a different way of living with my energy levels.