Filling the Minutes

Posted on | April 3, 2015 | 3 Comments

If genetics plays a part, it would seem that I have a lot of life left ahead of me. My Granny was five weeks shy of 99 when she died; her sister will be 97 in June, and my mother’s mother is set to turn 91 this month. I joke with Banks that he’s got to get himself in peak conditioning so he can keep up with me as I plan to live another sixty years.

The thing is, though, sixty years is a long time and there’s so much that can be poured in or seeped out of those days and weeks and months.

When I look at the lives the women in my family have lived, I wonder if I can keep up. I wonder if when I’m 97 or 98, I’ll have stories worth telling, memories worth having… a life worth remembering. I wonder if when I’m gone, my family will spend days going through my things and laughing at what I chose to keep and what I chose to throw away. I wonder if they’ll know me; if they’ll see the things I’ve treasured and know what was most important to me. I wonder if they’ll read what I’ve written and think “What a crazy woman she was” or hopefully “what I wouldn’t give to look inside her head for a few hours.”

Because that’s what I’ve always thought about both my grandmothers and about my great aunts. I’ve always wanted to spend just a day or so wandering through their minds, seeing my grandfathers as young men to fall in love with, seeing my parents as children… seeing the world in the softened glow of the 1920s or 30s or 40s.

I look around at the “treasures” in my own house and I wonder why anyone would want any of them. The hand painted ornaments, the wedding china from a broken marriage, the box of my first dog’s ashes that I still haven’t parted with. I look around and I wonder what these things say about me, what they say about who I am… if anything.

If I have sixty years of life left to live, I wonder if I’ll fill them with all the right things. I wonder if I’ve had enough fun to keep me laughing when my body gives out but my mind is still sharp. I wonder if I’ve spent enough time outside to keep me warm when I’m bed ridden, if I’ve spent enough love to have it pour back to me in my last days. Because that’s what matters most, right? That you live while you’re still alive. That you fill your heart and mind and soul with the moments that will replay over and over… the moments you’ll want to replay over and over… as you slowly grow old.

I think it’s time to make that promise to myself. That I won’t waste the time I have. That I won’t lie in a bed at 98 and wonder if I did enough or loved enough or just lived enough. I think it’s time to start filling the minutes of my life with as much happiness as I can stand because there will be time, I’m sure there will be time, when all I’ll have left are my memories.

Comments

3 Responses to “Filling the Minutes”

  1. Ruth
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 11:33 am

    You already do have stories worth telling. We’re all here, listening to your stories. If they didn’t mean anything, we wouldn’t come back.

    Sometimes I get a bit confused about my own mundane life. You might be familiar… the one where you get up, get yourself and anybody else in the house ready, drop off, pick up, go to work, come home, do chores, fall into bed exhausted to wake up and do it all over again. I don’t see myself living an extraordinary life and I wonder how memorable it could be. The thing is that I love greatly, which makes all of the mundane a little bit sacred. That’s enough.

    As you’ve written about your Granny, she loved greatly. Maybe not in the I’m going to hug and kiss and tell you everyday kind of way, but the way you were certain you are loved.

    Just like longevity is genetic, I think that loving greatly is too. Passed on from one generation to the other. Your stories here show you loving greatly… J, Banks, your family, your friends. That is what is going to keep you warm when you are bed ridden and happy on the journey to 99. Keep on. You are doing great!

  2. Law Momma
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 2:30 pm

    Oh I love that! Loving Greatly is genetic. Yes… I think maybe it is. 🙂

  3. Barbara
    April 3rd, 2015 @ 8:58 pm

    well, I can’t help with any of that but the dog ashes. We moved from Florida to Virginia with our 4 dogs, and then over the next few years they got old and had to be put to sleep. But we didn’t know what to do with the ashes b/c Virginia wasn’t HOME for them. Florida was. So one year, shortly after the last one died, we packed up the 4 boxes, our now 2 human children, and went to Disney, where we smuggled the boxes onto the ferry to Tom Sawyers island and scattered the ashes on the island. This is probably illegal. But it’s the Happiest Place on Earth! What dog wouldn’t want to spend eternity on Tom Sawyer’s island? So now whenever we go to Disney we can visit them. Win-win! Pro tip, wait till most people have walked past you on the trail. Otherwise you’ll look a little weird.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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