I have always struggled with “being flexible” mentally. I over plan and then have learned to be able to adjust daily plans to the moment. As a teacher this was an invaluable skill because students’s needs and struggles often meant changing my plans to better move their learning. I’m famous for adjusting itineraries as we travel; ad libbing so to speak with routes taken and diversions heartily taken in. What’s hard for me is to mentally be flexible.
Because LIFE tends to throw more and more curves as I age, I’ve tried hard to NOT overplan; this way when other things demand attention, I’m not sad/disappointed that my carefully made plans need changing. The past few years have proven to me that these sunset years of retirement are unpredictable; family emergencies happen frequently, personal ilnesses happen more often, and just general “not feeling well” is common for myself and my dear husband who’s five years older. I learned the past few years that this ever calm, relaxed, cheery person is NOT always that way when dealing with personal health and family health issues related to aging. Sigh; in fact a cardiologist suggested that my ever calm nature was my problem when I found myself bottoming out (blood pressure) OFTEN. So at time being the calm, reasoning, patient person isn’t “good”. Don’t worry, I’m not changing who I am; it’s been a great help for many. But I a aware of it now, which has helped me somewhat in times of internal stresss when I “think” I’m “ok”.
Anyway, in my nonplanning, living spontaneously, new life plan there are still times when planning is needed; at least to me. So with us all being in good health my husband and I have planned a road trip on our way to our little winter condo. We even bought a dream car: comfortable, quiet, and safe for the road. We’ve booked hotels and plan a ten day trip; this time not visiting family on the way South, but instead seeing cities and sites we’ve never visited. A large enough trip that’s we’re both excited. And it’s the first of a handful we “plan” to make over the next few years now that we have plenty of TIME.
Let me note here that our plan changes are mostly health issues; we are blessed financially and with wonderful family and friends. So in comparison to many others who may be reading this, I have LITTLE stress in my life; little too complain about.
Now we do our obligatory doctor visits; so that we’re set for the next 4 months. Yesterday my husband learned his prostrate cancer has grown. He has a biopsy next week. So we are back to the NEW reality; remembering to count each MOMENT and DAY for the blessings they are. And TRY not to worry about tomorrow. It’s still possible that our trip will happen in same time period. But most likely it’ll need to be altered.
So do we NEVER plan any longer. Twice I’ve signed up for 5Ks and had to cancel because of illness or injury; a 5K WALK had to be cancelled. So I no longer sign up ahead of time for them. But that being said, I DO TREASURE all the gifts God has given us, including experiences. I still find myself saying “this sucks”. Can’t health be ok for maybe another five years; then we’ll have created more wonderful memories during our golden years.
I sit hear on a sunny (cold) day; in a warm home with hot coffee and peach jam on my toast. Life is good. And this moment I am grateful for.