The Beatles got it all wrong. I just turned 64, and it’s a turning point to freedom, not one of need (see words to When I’m 64). I don’t wonder if the loved ones in my life will still need me or feed me now. In fact, it’s just the opposite. My younger daughter just graduated high school. By September, I will have an empty nest, and the girls won’t need me in the way they did. This liberates me to create a whole new chapter in my life.
My husband keeps asking me what I will do with myself now that they’ll both be gone. I don’t even understand the question. I’ll keep on with what I’ve been doing since I retired and moved to Paradise 5 years ago, only more of it. And now I’ll be able to add some activities.
I’ll write. Writing drives me like nothing else. But now, no more stopping to pick up the girls from school or fix supper if I’m on a roll.
The beach! Something fundamental changed in the last several months. I’ve become a Beach Floozy. I will go to the beach with anyone, anywhere, anytime, for any reason, now averaging twice a week instead of once a month. I must get into that water. I must walk the beach, looking for treasure. Soon I won’t have to negotiate to get the car for the trip.
I’ll travel. Nothing keeps my mind sharp like planning a trip. The hunt for the perfect little AirBnB is actually fun. And now the whole world opens to me, not just college towns the girls need to visit and not just the sites that interest them, or better said, not excluding the sites I want to see.
In fact, during the more recent college trips, I’ve taken time for me, visiting with my new Beachcombing Conference friends. In March, I combed with Barbara on Staten Island. This month in Seattle (my older daughter is looking at graduate schools – apparently the college trips are not over), I connected with Leslie, Sherri, Chris and Lynne. They took me to Discovery Park one day, and Chris took me to Alki Beach another. New friends = new adventures.
Ah, friends. My Big Island “sisters,” whose kids are already launched, have been waiting not-so-patiently for me to be free to travel wherever and whenever. Of course, vacationing with strong-willed women creates its own set of problems. Kristan loves Abraham-Hicks cruises; Dianne is stuck on France; Deacon only wants to go where there’s great beachcombing (Iceland in November???); Stacy is eyeing Greece. None of that appeals to me at the moment. No worries. Something will develop.
Oooh! I can have friends over! I can watch movies late at night! I can sing! I can listen to music! All this time, I’ve had to be concerned about making noise while the girls were trying to do homework. Now I’m free to be as noisy as I desire.
I’ll get out of my comfort zone: tackling my aversion to technology. Last week I finally put Pandora on my computer and phone. Music is back in my life! (Ironically, my station is The Beatles.) I also uploaded the app for Uber and we took our first Uber ride. Confession – the girls helped me with both of these. Maybe I’ll even figure out the TV before my little bird fledges. And I must learn to fully utilize my phone, especially while traveling. My Siri is a male with an Australian accent. Yum – time for an introduction. Perhaps I can even leave my laptop home when I travel. Umm, I’m probably not ready for that.
In summary, I declare this year of my 64th birthday, to be my year for the newly liberated me. Universe – are you listening? Next year, I can tackle more new stuff – registering for Medicare.
Dear Beatles, I won’t be knitting a sweater by the fireside, or going for rides on Sunday morning. No grandchildren on my knee at this point, Thank God! But renting a cottage on the Isle of Wight has appeal…
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