Thursday, May 9, 2013

Finding Mid-life

"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next."            
               Gilda Radner

We were out to dinner with friends the other night and before we left,we gathered in the parking lot to admire the gentleman's newest acquisition, a mid-life crisis car. It truly was a classic example, candy-apple red, with only two seats of pale and welcoming leather.

He had agonized for days over the purchase until his partner, a wise woman whose patience may have been growing a bit thin, had said, "Go ahead! You could be dead tomorrow!" Not the cheeriest of messages, but effective.

Successfully facing your own mortality is perhaps striking a balance between the conviction that you could live another 30 years and the idea that tomorrow could be your last.  We either have plenty of time ahead for new endeavors or else should make more efficient use of the limited time we have left. Either case is an argument for plunging ahead, looking for what next new thing life may offer

That evening on the way home, I'd had the silly thought that if this was indeed a midlife crisis car, our friend would have to live to at least 120.  Then I remembered watching Willard Scott congratulating individuals across the country on their 100th and 110th birthdays and at that recollection life took on new possibilities.

I will not grouse to myself about the fact that the couch I just bought will probably be the last one I will buy. I will not be one of those dreary people who refuse to adopt a new animal because they're afraid they may outlive it.  

So when my beloved geriatric cat bites the big one I’ll charge out and rescue two more kittens from the animal shelter. And I'll continue writing. I'll also continue beating the bushes and dragging the rivers for an agent willing to take on my book. And then I'll start to write another one.

Gilda's life may have been cut short, but no one could accuse her of not having taken the moments she'd had and making the best of them.

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