a few days ago i found myself having a long conversation with MBN (EBN’s babysitter, my life coach, my very close friend – clearly, a good person to have around) about a paper she had written in grad school. the paper was supposed to be (and i’m paraphrasing here) a glimpse into the future of the writer; what would your personal life look like at 80, taking into account family medical history, environment, stressors and health and wellness. or at least that’s how i understand the paper. it got me thinking about my own life at 80 (or 50 or tomorrow) and they way i hope to be living. i know this is all closely related to embracing the pacifica lifestyle but MBN urged me to think more broadly. it’s not someone else’s pacifica lifestyle that i am trying to emulate but rather, perhaps the first time, define a lifestyle for myself. the choices i make (from the day-to-day to the life changing) should be choices that define me and my family and not some other ideal (materialistic, education, i could go on…).
as for me at 80 – i’m hoping it looks something like this (in no particular order):
1. i have perfected a recipe that i am known for. when i host a dinner party or celebrate a birthday, the food is expected to be served. everyone asks me to share my secrets but i only share the full recipe with my closest family.
2. when someone walks into my living space it is clear that they are entering a jewish home – from the artwork to the shabbat candlesticks to the doorposts and, most importantly, the values that we hold most dear – and mahjong…clearly mahjong.
3. when family gets together, we can’t help but talk about summer camp
4. we have a room of book shelves full of our most essentials reads – everything from BEL CANTO and THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD to AT RISK and NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER (ABN and EBN can put their favorites in there too)
5. i have served on the board of a non-profit that i continue to advise and support
6. our home filled with fresh flowers
7. we have regular dates nights that include red wine
8. i have an appreciation for the green (or blue) space where i live
9. i have my hair blown out – regularly
10. i am the old lady with a tattoo that has no regrets
11. our home is filled with family photographs
12. we indulge in low-key travel; weekends away to slow down and spend time with the people we love
13. i know my body – what works, what doesn’t have when to ask for help
14. i remember to be grateful everyday that my children now live in a world where they can marry who ever they want to marry – and that their mama and daddy played some (small) role in making that possible
15. i appreciate friendships that span more than 50 years
16. we tell stories about the years when ABN made guacamole with ingredients straight out of our garden
17. i find support, love, humor and a spiritual home with my brother and his family – and maintain a bitter rivalry in rummikub
18. i rock a true style, all my own (though influenced by mrs. roper)
19. we have a marriage that we both appreciate – one that challenges us and surrounds the two of us and our children, with love
20. i have children that are passionate
21. i have journals, scrapbooks or other writings full of the memories we have created – i know i won’t remember but i want to be able to look back
a list of 21…sorta weird, but for now, a good starting place. i like that some of my list requires immediate attention. at 80 i want to be able to look back on LBN today and say, nice job lady!
if you feel like putting together a list of “when i am 80…” i’d love to read what you’re thinking about!