Yesterday I met myself at 80 years old.
Not physically, but figuratively. I had one of those time warp moments.
I was sitting on my back porch last night. The kids were in the house playing. Rick was playing golf. I had a bottle of water and was reading a book and the puppies were milling around me. I realized at that moment how happy and at peace I was.
And I thought, "This is what I'm going to do with my days when Rick is gone."
I hope to still be active enough to get some daily exercise. And I'm going to garden and have tons of flowers. I want to have my own home, even if it's a tiny little cottage. I imagined the way I will eat (which is pretty much how I eat now), and how it will cost me so little. I will piddle around my house and sit with my dogs and read and absorb the quiet. I will probably spend a lot of time alone. And I know that I will be happy.
How do I know? Because the same things that made me happy as a girl are the same things that make me happy now and will be the same things that make me happy when I'm old.
I think we go through stages, many stages, where we are trying to find happiness. And, at least for me, it's been in following what other people do and following trends. For so many years I haven't allowed myself to enjoy the things that I really do enjoy, because it's not what the crowd was doing.
I read a Woman's Day article this week. It's from The Happiness Project series by Gretchen Rubin. She says ...
Some people don't even know how to have fun anymore. They've lost touch with what they like to do just for the sheer pleasure of it. If you have this problem, ask yourself: What did I enjoy doing as a 10-year-old? ... The activity you liked then is probably the one you'd enjoy now, though perhaps in a slightly different form.
I thought back to my 10ish year old self. In almost ever memory, I was alone and loving it! I liked to swing on my swingset, or play in my sandbox. I loved to sit on the back patio of our neighbors' house, who were elderly, and talk to them. I always had my dog in toe. I loved to play in my dad's garden. I was very imaginative and didn't need anyone around to help me out. When I think of these memories, I feel peace and happiness. I hated talking on the phone and friend drama, although I was always getting sucked into the middle of it.
And this is who I am now, too. I still love to be alone, and gain my energy from it. I like to sit on my porch swing and play in the dirt planting flowers and things. I love to sit on the back patio, but now it's mine, and talk to whoever is there to talk (usually the kids). I have many dogs in toe. I love my garden. I do have a huge imagination, and use it often. And I still hate to talk on the phone and friend drama.
I really haven't changed at all.
I guess I shouldn't expect that I'm going to.
That gives me some comfort to know that I have always known my true happiness, that I just have to embrace it and keep it in my life. My old lady days will be happy, as well.