Remi Speaks

P4170219

Sunrise or Sunset?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Through the Window.” Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw. What??? I wrote to this prompt on July 15 –less than a month ago!!  I think they are repeating the prompts a bit too quickly, don’t you? If you didn’t read it then, HERE is my answer to this prompt.

Luckily, YESTERDAY’S PROMPT was a double one, including instructions to write a letter to myself now from the “myself” of 20 years from now.  (Yes I know I reversed the directions.  Makes more sense this way.) So, here goes:

Dear Remi,

Remember five years ago, when you took this new name for yourself?  I notice you’ve slipped back into the “old” name (Judy) and the “old” you that you professed just five years before to no longer identify with.  What happened?  Was it merely the resistance of old friends to call you by this new name? Or was it that you slowly slipped back into being that person–more laconic, giving in to the heaviness and inactivity of age?  Did you also give up on romance and change and the excitement of the possibility of forward progress?  Did you decide to stay where it is easier with an established routine, people to clean your house and wash your clothes and mow your grass and clean your pool?

I’m wondering if you are thinking about how that is working out for you. I see you even more tied down than before–three dogs instead of one, making plans to start more programs for the young people of your community, but will this be enough?  That sense of urgency and of time passing that has kept you vaulting from your bed and running outside to try to breathe at night–is it caused by any physical condition or is it me, prodding you to be young for as long as you can and to experience more before you sink into that routine that is the reward for doing all that you meant to do in this lifetime? Is it time to retire and to smooth your own pathway, or is it still time to leap over barriers–such as this barrier of yourself–and go boldly out into the world to see what else is there?

I’m not trying to prod or push you or suggest the way.  I am, after all, a figment of your imagination as surely as your present view of yourself is.  I understand that two foot surgeries in two years slowed you down and changed your exercise patterns as well as the patterns of your day.  I also realize that friends moved away or moved into new lives and that this also made you turn inwards.  There are reasons of one sort or another for everything we do.  We all have excuses.  At 88 years old, I have excuses, too.  I know where you ended up but I also know that there are a limitless number of me’s.

There is the me that succumbed to Alzheimer’s, as your sister did.  There is the me who moved to Italy and moved off into a new life that I only hint at here.  There is the me who has devoted herself for the past 20 years to making her small town a better place to grow up in.  There is the me who finally took off in that boat and went all the remaining places there were to go.  There is the me who grew grumpy and reclusive and eventually became dumber than her Smart TV.

There is even the implausible me who did all the “shoulds” and got her other books published–who maybe even got back on the agent/publisher treadmill and did it the “right” way. There is the me who found more romance, the one who converted her entire house into a dog kennel, the one who built the house on the adjoining piece of land and hired a nurse/housekeeper and invited her friends to come grow old with her.  There are so many potential me’s that I hope it is making your head swim and that I hope will make you think about what you want to do with the remaining 30 or so years of your life.

Things are not over.  In the first thirty years of your life, you grew up, went to summer camp, counseled at summer camp, went to University, sailed around the world on a boat and saw all else that life could be, got your masters degree, emigrated to Australia, taught for two years, traveled for four months through southeast Asia and Africa, moved to Africa and had various adventures, good and bad.  Fell in love, taught school in Addis Ababa, moved back to the U.S., taught for 7 more years, fell in love, built a house, edited a creative writing journal for teens, traveled to China and Great Britain and Hawaii.

Then you had a dream that knocked you into a recognition of your subconscious.  You quit your job, moved to Orange County, CA, wrote on the beach, moved to L.A., fell in love, studied film production and screenwriting at UCLA, worked in a Hollywood agency, joined a writer’s workshop, joined an actor’s studio, worked for Bob Hope, gave poetry readings, was co-editor of a poetry journal, fell in love again, married, moved to the Santa Cruz mountains, became an artist, traveled and did art and craft shows for 14 years, became the curator of an art center, lost your husband, moved to Mexico, self-published four books, traveled, taught English and art, fell in love a few more times, started a poetry series.

This is what can be done in thirty years.  So, what are you going to do with the next thirty?

Love, Remi–twenty years older.

12 thoughts on “Remi Speaks

  1. Marilyn Armstrong

    I love your multiple future selves. It’s funny, because I don’t see anything ahead that isn’t much like things are now. Maybe it’s because I’m okay with who I am and don’t feel like I should have done more or different. I’m surprised to say that, but I realize it’s true. I’m not dissatisfied with my life. Sorry that my body failed me so badly, but okay with the way things worked out. No pressure to stay young. That train left the station. I can’t even hear the distant whistle. Great post. Thought provoking.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      But this assignment prompted us both to think about it…and I will perhaps find I’m at the same stage you are. The difference, other than health, may be that you have a partner you are very content with…that is something I’m missing in my life. I still don’t know if I’d even want to live with someone again, but don’t want to make these decisions based on sloth…but based on thinking deeply and trying to determine what I really do want. I know from past experience that everything comes from following intuition but for me, intuition lurks in doing more than sitting back and waiting for my life to happen. I feel a bit schizophrenic, one day saying I am content sinking into the stage of life I’m at, the next wondering if I’m rushing that stage. Oh what deep wells of ourselves these prompts drive us to!!

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  2. Tamara Alaine Mitchell

    Ya, really. Let’s not get complacent just because some days we feel less energetic. You are not done yet. I am not done yet. It just “wasn’t time yet” for some of the things we’ll accomplish in our later years with more wisdom, patience, and hindsight. AND looking out the window for 1 full minute is a good exercise every day. What has changed since last time? Today there might be a little bird that wasn’t there…or a cat napping in the sun…or a dragonfly…some new flower blooming. Things are never the same. Love your messages!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. lifelessons Post author

      And I always love your comments…It’s nice to be connected in this way, even if not in proximity!!! Have you finished your terrace? All set to just enjoy?

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  3. Betty Petersen

    Hi, I would respond to this via comments, but it is not working properly. So….just gotta say this!! Do what you damned well please in your later years….whenever or wherever your desires take you. Just Relax and enjoy the days…..be lazy, be useful, whatever….just Enjoy Your Days…….they won’t go on forever, unfortunately! And don’t think about That….its scary! Love you, Judy/Remi, Betty

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. bkpyett

    Love it, Remi, or Judy, or both of you! What a lot you have packed into your life so far, with so many other options lying ahead. I wish you well with whatever takes your fancy. It sounds as if you have plenty to keep you busy, not allowing time for illness. Look forward to hearing what you do decide to manifest. ❤

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