I've had this feeling lately, not based on anything, in particular,* that I am running out of time.
Time for what?
That's the real question, I suppose. And I don't have a good answer. Maybe this is what people think about as they can see age 60 on the horizon. Mind you, that's a year plus away for me, but still, like clouds on the horizon, it seems like something is coming.
Now right off the bat, I'm going to note that I'm not bemoaning all of the things I should have done by now. On the contrary, I think that I've done alright for a kid from a housing project. I never wanted, for example, to be the CEO of anything other than myself. And I am very proud of parts of my life, including 3 daughters and 2 stepsons, which ultimately is one of the better measures any of us can have as we take stock of uncertain things.
No, it just feels like there are things I still need to do, but while in the past the future seemed so very open-ended, well, now it seems more closed-ended. I sometimes wonder just how many other "big things" there are left in me.
"Big things" has been something of a theme in my later adult life. I've even had, for a few years in my mid-late 40s and early 50s a goal of "to do big things". I did some big things by the way, including literally turning one aspect of my life completely around and earning a Master's degree. None of these big things were easy, but I think most folks acknowledge that, at some level, the most important things in life are seldom accomplished without time and effort. Part of this whole mental ball-o-string may very well be the fact that I can't put my arms around the next "big thing".
The low-hanging fruit here is the fact that I'll probably retire (for real this time) in about 5 years. Oddly enough though, that doesn't seem like a "big thing" in the context of the other things I have done. This is probably because, unlike earning an advanced degree from Villanova University, the retirement thing (for real this time) is going to happen no matter what...I just show up for the event.
That last paragraph isn't without some decision-making and actions on my part. Some of those actions have been in the works for a while now. Others are far more recent, including my taking stock of what I am doing professionally and making some adjustments. There is an element of trust in this whole career thing for me: Speaking of decision-making, I am making the decision to trust that I am in a relatively safe place career-wise. Now, this could be an enormous mistake, but sometimes life calls for an act of faith. For me, well, this is one of those times, and I am prepared to just work hard and spend less time making contingency plans. I need the bandwidth to (hopefully) do other (big) things.
I just don't know what those other things are, big or otherwise. This might be why I feel like I am running out of time, as we humans have a tendency to view time in the context of events and things. I just need to find the next (big) thing.
(*) For the record, I am not facing some kind of health crisis, although I would trade a kidney to rid myself of a chronically itchy back.
I have felt that way since I was in my late 50’s also. For me I think the thoughts come from being a grandma. I still have so much to do for them, but that’s how life is. I think you will find that retirement is like graduating high school. It wasn’t so much an accomplishment as a door to a very different part of your life.
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