Watching the sunset, she wonders “Where did the day go?”
She quickly glances at her dusty, messy dresser and admits, “I should have taken care of that today.” She scratches a mosquito bite on her leg and remembers, “I meant to buy some anti-itch cream on the way home.” The smell of dirty the laundry on the floor sits in the hot, humid summer air daring her to turn on her ionizing air conditioner as she mumbles, “Maybe tomorrow I’ll take care of that.” The sounds of people laughing outside suddenly propels her out of my bedroom into the living room to get her cellphone to make that all important appointment to see her dentist. She had been meaning to make an appointment for the last few weeks. Was it the mild tooth ache or the feeling and taste of tartar built up on her teeth that made her hide her toothy smile these last few months? She speed dials her dentists number and listens to her answering machine answer, then hangs up.
She pulls out her journal and writes “Where did my life go? I’ve been allowing myself the previously unimaginable experience of being in the now, and not thinking about the rat race. Relaxation and reflection – two luxuries that I once believed were for pre-pre-school children, the mentally challenged, and the elderly. Was I wrong to give myself time? My life seemed okay before – go to work, come home, sleep, go to work, come home, sleep. The routine was reliable and predictable. I had lulled into a delicious, soothing mindlessness.
But it was the mindlessness that made me ignore clouds racing across the sky. It blinded me to the sight of darkness approaching on the horizon. It was the predictable daily schedule of punching in and punching out that made me believe that life was absolute and clear.
It took me a year of figuring out life after retirement to finally realize the pleasure of not making a “to do list” and simply allowing myself the luxury to breathe, move, hear, see, taste, feel – slowly and consciously. That’s how I discovered the luxury of simply being. Not doing. Not having…. just being. Kind of like the leaves on a tree, I am simply here. Breathing. Feeling my body again as I lie on the floor – my necks slightly arching, and my breathe is struggling to to fill every square millimeter my chest as I imagine living in paradise- for as long as my pension funds last. How sweet it is. ”
As she completes her entry on the last page of her journal, she tosses it on a growing pile of journals sitting on her desk. She walks back to her bedroom, stretches her body across her bed, yawns, scratches her scalp and doses of into a dream of simply being on a peaceful, country road.