I had many aspirations as I grew up. I won’t name those never realized because…Really? Must I really remind myself of all those things I thought unattainable? I just don’t want to go there.
One aspiration, however, was to be a mother of six children. I may not have done much else as an adult, but having the privilege of nurturing and cherishing my children into young adulthood may very well stand as my greatest accomplishment in life.
Now, having said that, I must add that one cannot make any excuse that legitimately excuses not experiencing the world.
I mean, as I write this, I still rationalize in the back of my mind how it is possible…and how I cannot see having done it any differently…that I kayaked for the first time at the age of 47. And rode my first paddleboard. And first rode a jet ski. And hiked (for real). And had my first margarita. And dove from a boat (no, not after having the margarita!). And did many other things this past week for the very first time…..all at the age of 47.
Can I blame my reluctance to take time off on my late father’s annual promise broken (that eventually became the spiel we disregarded) that he would take us to Guam or Hawaii — or on a vacation — when he got his tax return?
That’s a resounding “No,” though I assert that the seeming worthlessness of taking vacations left an indelible imprint on my psyche.
The bulk of my vacation time has rolled-over, year after year, until it has amounted to a full 10 weeks (well, after this week, 9 weeks. Still…) Why?
Since my divorce, I’ve only met a few personal goals. A friend challenged me today to set three personal goals per year and use some of that accrued time off to meet them, and to bring my children who want to come along. Surely I can take a day or two off on either side of my “weekends” in retail management to do a tandem sky-dive, or to take a ride in a hot air balloon, or to go to Crater Lake….or take personal writing retreats.
Bucket list experiences. Skills I’d like to acquire…
I have a life to live. What am I waiting for? One person to want to share in my experiences? Didn’t I leave that hope behind in my divorce? It’s a lot of introspection that takes me down a familiar road: I know myself, and once I revert to being that girl who can and will do everything alone, I’ll dive in and do it alone. That’s just who I am.
And if I don’t accomplish anything, I’ll die trying.
©Aja Hart, 5.28.16