Friday, January 29, 2010

What brought this on...

I have been blessed with some amazing women in my family to look up to, to honor, to emulate and admire. My grandparents raised 4 daughters in a one bathroom house without any closets (right there is a lot to admire about my grandfather!). Oh yeah, it didn’t have a shower, only a tub. I guess that was common place “back in the day”, but can you imagine that now. Then again I grew up in a house with only one bathroom that just had a tub, but there were only two of us kids... but 4 girls wow!

Bunny trail... Sorry. Back to the topic at hand, recently one these really cool women joined the world of Facebook; and she asked me to be her friend. Hard to believe I know! As I was checking out her new page and photos I discovered this quote.
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--- WOW-- What a Ride!“ (Anonymous)

This quote will not leave my brain, or my subconscious, it even taunts me in my sleep. Okay maybe taunt is a hard word, more like awaken my innards. My gut’s talking to me like it did when I was in my early twenties. At first it was a bit strange, I dismissed it. My innards are persistent though, and I began listening, contemplating, wondering.

Why now though, is it really because I am turning 39 in a few weeks? No, I really don’t think that’s it at all. Age has never really been a big deal to me. Everyone said I’d “freak out and feel different” at 30, that it was a huge mile stone and my life would never be the same. People are telling me that and worse about turning 39. I don’t feel any different, and I certainly don’t feel old or that my life is half over. It’s barely begun.

I think, keep in mind this is my innards talkin’ to me, that I am feeling this way because for the first time in my adult life I am debt free. Even before I married Mark I had a loan on my truck and college loans. As of the 15th of this month the only thing we will owe on is our home. Both cars are paid off, no credit card debt, nothing hanging over our heads. This freedom is astoundingly liberating. We’ve finally got a pretty good handle on saving vs. living pay check to pay check and this is a stage in my life I’ve never been in. And it feels surprisingly peaceful.

So why is this quote jumping in my spirit like Mexican jumping beans? Why is it keeping me awake at night, encouraging my imagination run rise up within me? It’s the lack of financial burden. I never realized how much of a stronghold it has on you. It extinguishes your creativity, your life blood, even your passions. But once it’s gone it’s extremely energizing, like walkin’ on sunshine, unexplainable aaahhhhh. There really are no other words to describe it.

Okay, but what about this amazing quote... and what does it mean to me?
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--- WOW-- What a Ride!“ (Anonymous)
Does it mean to ‘try new things’ ‘to live each day to the fullest’ ‘dare to dream’ ‘take time to smell the roses’? Sounds all good and wonderful, but I think not. And since my gut is speakin’ to me I know it’s not a pie in the sky wish or hope or word of wisdom. But rather a life altering make plans to live, to truly live and experience ALL that God has created for me and my family. Put it on the calendar, because in our house if it’s on the calendar it’s gonna happen! Tomorrow I am going out to buy a 5 year planning calendar. I have decided to fill my calendar of life. So that my bucket runneth over! Not really a bucket list so to speak, because I do have a few things on my life list that I want to accomplish before I “kick the bucket”. But rather I want our children at the end of my life to look back and say “Mom didn’t just live a full life, she lived life to the fullest and road the ride hard skidding into home plate on last time!”

What is gonna fill my bucket? You’re gonna hafta check back often to see what we’ve been up to! My bucket is deep and wide and I gotta lotta livin’ left in me!


Mark said...

We did it my love! Thank you so much for sticking with me through all the rough times... now it is time to set our budget, and go on the investing offense. We can finally start to invest and make the interest others have made off of us for the last 16+ years. I am so very proud of you my love!

By the way, this is an AWESOME entry!!! See you SOON!

Ryan, Michelle and Alex said...

Wow, Colleen!
Thank you for a wonderful post. Our life is in such turmoil right now and we are struggling to find answers and direction and this was just the note I needed to see.
Thank you for taking the time to put words to paper and share them. I am going to take the quote you included and adopt it. There is a lot of meaning in a couple of lines.
Congrats on the debt-free status, we are working that direction and I love hearing about people that actually pulled it off! Way to go!