I Want to Go On

I Want to Go On

Lately, I have spent much time thinking about how far into my life I am.  I can’t believe that it is most probably 3/4 completed–if I am lucky!  I’m not ready for it all to be over that soon, but I am caught between enjoying fully what I am doing right now and finding yet another experience to round out my life.  What is important––the moment or the whole?  As much as I love writing all morning, reading blogs, taking photos, nudging my house into line and the serendipity of venturing out a few kilometers to see what life will present—what friends I’ll run into, what new friends I’ll make––I sometimes wonder if there are entirely new adventures farther afield that I should be investigating.  Is there another perfect place to live—people and friends who will bring me closer to a part of myself I’ve never investigated before?  Eight long years after Bob died—when I was ready for one more love in my life—I said that I would not look for someone like him but just be open to the amazing possibilities.  Perhaps some new love would open up an unexplored side of me as he had mined my artistic side. 

I tried to maintain an open mind as I was invited into the personal lives of men who urged me to explore sides of myself that I came to realize that, although titillating, I had no desire to explore.  I had no interest in becoming a second wife in a love triangle or in donning a leather mask or in being humiliated sexually.  I had no interest in being the “all” for any man.  I flirted with the idea of accepting an invitation to take off in a boat or a road trip down to the tip of South America, but in the end, was not desperate enough to take the chance of being stranded mid-ocean in a typhoon with a inadequate captain or riding as a captive sidekick to someone who proved to be more boring than his much-labored-over profile on OKCupid.

In the end, I made a very loving cyber-friend, and repeating a pattern, it seems that this friendship is a substitute that I have convinced myself is enough.  It fills in lonely hours and keeps me from yearning for that actual private touch.  My bed partner is my computer—two of them if the truth be told. One downloads episodes of favorite shows to binge-watch, the other provides a place to to read and comment on blogs I follow, to post new blogs and to read comments from those who have read my blogs.

They reassure me, these readers of my private life published daily on the page.  They applaud my gains in photographic prowess, ask about the adventures of Morrie, the little Scottish terrier left in the wake of a house sitter who first adopted and then abandoned him.  They give advice and seek advice—friends spread out around the world who are always there.  Almost all are supportive, non-combative, interesting, smart, liberal, funny and interesting writers themselves.  Some are outstanding.  They fill in the hours when friends go back to their husbands, dogs go into their beds to snooze—when the activity of the outer world ceases.  Those hours meant to be slept through but into which I cannot surrender myself, hating to give up anymore time to sleep than is absolutely necessary.

Perhaps some part of me is always aware of the very long sleep that awaits me. It is my fear of it that pulls me out of near-sleep into a panic where I cannot breathe—like a foreknowledge of my last gasping breath.  I bolt from my bed to struggle with the key to the barred grid outside my sliding glass door and screen—go outside for the air that escapes me, caught as it is within the room. That panic—that terror of no longer being––what should it drive me towards?  Acceptance? The quest for a new faith? New loves?  New adventures? What am I missing out on that drives me to want more life than I’ve already had? Is there some purpose, some journey, some task that would make me stop fearing the end of everything?  Is there any philosophy that I could convince myself to believe in that would calm my fears of ceasing to be?

Why is it that I have convinced myself that I, of all in the universe, should continue to “be” forever?  For this is what I desire.  I want a long life—longer than that of my mother who died at 91 or my grandmother who died at 96.  I want to go on having adventures, exciting friends of all ages, stimulating thoughts that I will continue to be able to convey to others.  I do not want my life to be three-quarters over. I want to go on.

39 thoughts on “I Want to Go On

  1. msjadeli

    I appreciate your getting real here, Judy. You have longevity genes on your side. You just never know what technical advance might be made in a few years where you can transfer “you” into a brand new model. It’s what I’m hoping for 🙂 If not, my kids have been instructed to bury me in a bio bag and plant a nice oak tree over me. Until then, my plan is to continue enjoying the blogging community and start prioritizing my bucket list.

    I think if you’re content, it’s more than many get. But is it enough for you? Good luck on your soul-searching.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Thanks, Lisa. I think you are younger than me. Just wait! This is not a continual theme of thought in my life..it just pops up now and then like a hidden batch of botched bread dough buried hopefully in the garden.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. msjadeli

        I hear you on that stream of thought. It’s like a rabbit hole of woe that you indulge yourself in from time to time. You certainly don’t seem like one to dwell there.

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        1. lifelessons Post author

          It’s an old family story..My mother was a bride and botched a batch of bread dough, buried it and the next morning it came swelling up out of the ground. My dad was curious about what it was and finally my mom had to confess. Now I think my mom was the secretive cook but I’ll have to ask my sister.. perhaps he was telling the story about someone else.

          Liked by 1 person

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  2. Sadje

    You’ve shared a very personal side to yourself here. I think every day is a new adventure and has the potential to change out life. Enjoy your beautiful home and the life you’ve created for yourself.

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  3. Covert Novelist

    This was very touching, very raw, very honest. I can tell you from personal experience, I am in exactly the same boat. I have been a single mom and raised my kids into adulthood alone from the ages of 8 and 5. Honestly, I’m glad I remained single during those years. I was able to give my kids the time and love required (this after working anywhere from8 to 21 hours) depending on the job. Still, we are a close family. Then when they left the nest I too wondered about finding someone or whether I should or could. Fact is, I had opportunities, but I didn’t. I have too much baggage. Then again, I’m like you in that on occasion I wake in a panic because I don’t want it to be over yet. I’ve enjoyed watching my grandkids grow into young adults and enjoy their company quite often. I do enjoy blogging and reading others thoughts on life love and choices. This was one of the most endearing I’ve seen, so thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts and feelings. Appreciate it from the bottom of me pump. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      What a wonderful comment, and I do thank you for it, Covert Novelist. I almost didn’t publish this because I wondered if it was too personal, but I am amazed at the number of people who identified with it. We never know the thoughts and feelings we share, I guess, unless we are able to admit them. I value your comment…

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  4. Fandango

    I suppose I, too, am three-quarters into my life if I live to be 100. But if I live to be 90, I’m more than four-fifths into my life. And if my life ends at 80, I’m more than nine-tenths into my life. So all that considered, I’d actually be quite happy if it turns out that I’m just three-quarters into my life.

    Besides, as they say in professional football and basketball, the last quarter is the most important quarter.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. derrickjknight

    This is an honest reflection on thoughts that come to us all at times. At almost 99 my mother is 20 years older than me. She has two targets – 100, and not to outlive her remaining 4 children. I don’t have any more targets since I passed my Dad’s age at death (70).

    The moment leads to the whole. I don’t think it is an either or.

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  6. SAM VOELKER

    Thanks for your telling us your personal thoughts on a subject that most of us feel in one way or another, but we are not as forthcoming as you, though we should be. My real opinion on mine may need to come our on a more personal basis. But then, by now, WordPress and Facebook has allowed most of it hang out in one form or another. However one thing we all keep to our selves is our own personal fears and secrete desires, but then we are not always as forthcoming to divulge this as you have been here. Again Thanks Judy, you may have opened an avenue for many of us to be letting down our dreams and fears. (though many of mine may be posted in a less personal way, they may also find a way to come out in a more poetic way~!) To me, talking about our past life experiences often make me feel that they are braggadocio and so I try not to divulge them as often as I should, because the past so often is what controls our future.
    At our age “advice” may not be needed or wanted, but understanding and compassion always is~!

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    1. SAM VOELKER

      I forgot to say that I really like that photo, it looks like you are saying: “hay that sounds like a fun thing to do, lets try it~!” And from what little I know about you, this must be exactly what you are saying~!

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  7. BACK ROADS AND OTHER STORIES

    This was a very touching and personal piece of writing, and I can relate to much of these subjects that may keep me awake at night. Of course I don’t have any answers to the big questions that you are asking, but i can offer this: I think that the moments count, and as long as you keep on seeking, asking, contemplatinging, and yearning, while feeding the moments, you will stay as young as your body will let you. To me that defines life and once I am not able to try new things, learn something new, live new experiences, meet new and interesting people, and have fresh thoughts, it may not be worth continuing. Keep looking!

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  8. judyreeveswriter

    How very personal and intimate and thoughtful, Judy. Clearly you’ve touched upon thoughts of so many of us, especially those of us who are at least three-quarters there. Though I’m grateful to be independent, I still have a romantic streak that always believes…
    I wish I were evolved enough to be able to Be Here Now and Live in the Moment at all times, but I’m not. Nor do I (really) believe in reincarnation. How will I look returning to my stardust self? As good as I looked in a mini-skirt and go-go boots? Love to you, my friend. Thank you for this one.

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  9. Catherine

    Wow, Judy. This is so beautiful, heartfelt and haunting. We all want you to go on too! Btw you look awesome in that picture!

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  10. Dale T. Wilson

    There’s no doubt in my mind that you will go on, and on, through your writings, your art, your deeds, the fertility of your friendshipmanship!

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. lifelessons Post author

      Jose and I were discussing this. I said I wanted to live to 100 and he said not him. I asked him how long he wanted to live and he said 70! I said, I’m 73 and look what I kid I am, and he said, well, maybe 80. I told him he could always change his mind in 7 years when I’m 80 and he sees what a kid I still am. Jose is the bricklayer/concrete guy for the little park I’m building in the lot below my house. More projects. It’s turning into the Winchester Mystery Lot. Do you know what the Winchester Mystery house was? If not, Google it…

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Manja Mexi Mexcessive

        No, I didn’t know it. I had a look and I can tell that yours is much more to my liking. The colours and the patterns and the growth around it, just divine. My mom will be 75 this year. For her 80th a famous Slovenian rapper, the surprise guest of her 70th birthday, promised her a rap festival. We are all looking forward to that.

        Liked by 1 person

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  11. Mary Francis McNinch

    I actually have friends who are bored. I move from one activity to another to another. I try to prioritize, but it never works out. Do you ever wish you could have a parallel life…or two? That way you could make different decisions and be able to experience more than one lifetime and not even have to give up anything in this life. You express yourself so well, Judy.

    Liked by 1 person

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  12. Laurie Hennig

    You have so many connections in your life, Judy and once a connection is made – Quantum Physics (just ask Nic!) – like exchanging electrons, that connection is eternal.

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