It seems odd still getting a Gift after New Year’s day. But, as I unravel my thoughts – circling, there within my mind – I wonder what might be my future in 2022… understanding it’s really a gift to myself.
Not long ago being retired meant “seeing the world” and if you had the money, why not? As my father-in-law, advised us, “Go while you still have your health.” And of course he was right: life doesn’t come with any guarantees.
But is traveling worth risking your health, or like millions of others, your life – during these COVID-19 times?
The other consideration is longevity: we tend to get use to waking up every day. Lord only knows, biblically speaking, if our lives will average out to be “threescore and ten” (70 years), or fourscore (80 years)… or, if all we have remaining is only fourscore and ten minutes. As the old Yiddish proverb states, “We plan, God laughs.”
“Yeah I bought my wife a little diamond ring
Her mom said, Hun, can’t even see that thing
It’ll be paid off when I’m sixty-five
If I’m lucky enough to still be alive”
Travis Tritt – Livin’ On Borrowed Time (from Live & Kickin’)
Watch on YouTube
Maybe, I’ll use whatever time I have left to achieve something I’ve never done before. Yet, that suggests excluding my wife from my daily plans. I see no future in that.
So let’s say I do change my ways, but by how much?
To be fair, that would mean going from 80/20 percent (whereby 80% of my otherwise free time is devoted to me… excluding her almost entirely); to 20/80 percent (whereby I devote the majority of my time freely to us as a couple.) So, I’m the one needing to give up my self-allotment of time. But, that might not be realistic, on my part. A 50/50 relationship seems more doable.
We’ve got nothing to risk and everything to gain. Not that she would put any pressure to change… such is her love.
In the beginning, I could have afforded the luxury of not thinking about time running out for me: with a career and growing family I had too much on my mind to notice. But, all along, she’s been my rock… even if I didn’t realize it at the time. Yet, with maturity and experience, I can’t pretend I don’t see. I’ve been guilty sometimes of treating friends as family and family as friends. There’s a difference, would you not agree?
I don’t want to be left wondering, on my deathbed, how I managed to lose such a beautiful human being – while life passed me by. Like the book Rip Van Winkle… I’m awakening with renewed sight. Yes, even a blind man knows when he’s walking in the sun.
So now, I’m returning my major attention to us – where everything started so long ago. Where this ends up, in our pandemic world, I do not know. What I do know is that I’m looking forward to fully embracing our gift of love to each other. My greatest gift!
That’s the way I figure it. – FP
Image is from pixabay
First published at fredparry.ca
Guest Author Bio
Fred Parry lives in Southern Ontario. He is a lover of people and a collector of stories, music, wisdom, and grandchildren. His raison d’etre? “I’m one of those people who believe that if my work serves the common good, it will last; if not, it will die with me. As a freelancer – including ten years as a Torstar columnist – I still believe that’s true.” His book, ‘The Music In Me’ (2013) Friesen Press is also available via Indigo / Chapters.
Blog / Website: www.fredparry.ca