I was feeling a little lost this morning so I wandered over to my new inspirational page (Facebook) to find something new to think about.
I was particularly devoid of original thoughts, so I took a few Facebook Quizes and ended that little game with the answer to the question "How much time do you have left on earth?"
The answer was 47 years and 8 months. I just celebrated my 54th birthday. That means according to the powers-that-come-up-with-these-crazy-games, I could live to the ripe old age of 101 (and 8 months).
I know it is just a silly game but the mere thought of living past 100 made my knees go week. Heavens! The thought of living past age 70 is just a tad frightening, let alone to 80 and beyond.
I have spent my entire life preparing to die.
Too many references about what undergarments you may 'be caught dead in' at a very young age probably planted the seed as to how I wanted to die. Completely clothed and in pristine condition. I did not want my humanness to be visible to the naked eye. I spent years worrying about the minutia of how I wanted to look, when how I looked was out of my control.
I went from that phase, to a stage where I worried about how my house would look. I would not want people to think I was a slob. I was a meticulous housekeeper in those crazy days. They lasted a very long time.
I remember thinking it was amusing that my children may choose "She kept a clean house" as the epitaph on my gravestone because I was so busy keeping up appearances, that I was not excelling at being Mother-of-the-Year or spending quality time or creating a life of love and laughter within our home.
I eventually outgrew that particular juncture in my life and started writing in earnest.
I wrote here, there and everywhere. I started collecting memories. I wrote cards, notes and emails every time the spirit moved me. I turned 'making and collecting memories' my focal point of living. I am still pretty much in the middle of that phase.
It was and is a wonderful place to be.
When I do leave this earth, people will not remember what condition I was in when I left (please let me leave this earth in a quiet and unobtrusive way. Please!!). Nor will the state of cleanliness within my home make it to my obituary (but if it is particularly clean, can you please mention it in passing?).
My children may remember the times we laughed and collected our own personal stash of memories living our uneventful little life, where watching our cats together or a quiet country drive was a focal point of so many stories, renewed perspective and writing material.
My words will outlast me. Whether that is a good thing or a bad one depends upon what you happen to be reading. I would trade a thousand articles I have written, in exchange for one letter I wish I had never mailed.
The friends I have made as I have walked quietly through my life are gifts I would not trade for the world. I have made friends out of so many family members. I cannot begin to tell you how much that means to me. I have made many sister-friends who feel like an extension of my own family. I am equally thankful for them. My own children and my immediate family are extensions of myself and I sometimes don't know where I end and they begin.
These are the things that matter to me. This is what and who and how I want to be remembered when I no longer walk this earth.
My greatest fear is living too long. I don't want to turn into a character within this story-of-my-life who is a financial or emotional burden to anyone. I don't want to live to a stage where I cannot motivate and uplift those around me. I don't want to hit a phase where I start looking back and focus on what I didn't accomplish. I do not want to be lonely. Or broke. Or sick.
I don't want to live past my expiration date.
According to Facebook, I have a lot of decades left in me. That could be a good thing if I treat those years with respect and keep looking up and ahead of where I am.
In the meantime, I guess it is time to take a short hiatus from making, collecting and amassing memories. I have a house to clean. The dirt isn't going any where. And if I have to live with it for another 47 years and 8 months, I had better start coming to terms with that fact.
It looks like I still have a lot of cleaning to do! If only this house would clean itself. Hey, wait! Maybe it will. I just purchased one of those little self-cleaning shower gadgets. I'm on my way to finding a way to 'having it all'. A clean house and memories too.