My son starts school as an 8th grader in 39 days. It recently occurred to me that we are staring down the final five years of his elementary and secondary schooling. While I would never wish away these last days of his childhood, it will most likely whiz by at lightning speed, or so I have been told by friends far ahead of me in child-rearing years. I have pondered that oft used job interview question, ‘Where do you see yourself in five years,” and I have come up with a few speculations.
1. In July 2016, my sister and I will have recovered from our fabulously fun and duo graduation party. (My sister is also on the five-year plan, but gets a practice run in 2013 with her first-born son.) M. and I will spend some time this month shopping for dorm accessories (sheets, bath shoes, computer accessories) OR, we just might be lying low, awaiting the start date of one of our exceptional local universities, where M. will be a commuting student. (Mom lucks out on at least one more year with a full house!)
2. Our beloved yellow Lab will have celebrated (with Tasty Paws) her 12th birthday in June. Her advanced age has FINALLY calmed her spastic disposition, as she is now too old to chase after two-wheeled/legged modes of transportation, such as bicycles, motorcycles and joggers. I am in the final days or months (or I guess, years) as a dog owner. In 2011, I loudly and definitively announced to the universe that this is my sixth and final canine. (Read my lips-NO MORE DOGS!) For the first time in at least 23 years, I will reside in a home completely void of dog hair, poop bags and vet bills.
3. If my arthritic knees are still capable of bending and straightening, I will join a local cycling group, relinquishing my seat on a goin-nowhere recumbent and spinning bike. It will be just me and the open road- that is if global warming hasn’t permanently stuck the thermometer on hot and humid in my once seasonal Midwest city. Joan does not enjoy exercising outdoors in a tropical climate.
4. My second turn as a hospice volunteer will prove to be longer lasting than my first stint, which was in college. In August 2016, I will receive my five-year pin for my work and dedication to the terminally ill and their families. My interaction with them will serve as a constant reminder to never sweat the small stuff, to value people over things, and to live each day like it’s your last.
5. My spouse and I (he will also be an empty or semi-empty nester) will travel to states and countries not visited in our childhood or earlier adult years. We will have scrawled a bucket list of sites to see, and eagerly cross them off as having “been there, done that.” (Please note the positive outcome to my year, in 2011, of online and offline dating.) 🙂
6. Last, but certainly not least, I will choose to write. With less of a nest to care for, I will possess the time and quiet necessary to pound away at the keyboard. My 56 years of life will have provided me with much material that is just bursting to be captured within the permanent ink of the written word. Memoirs, magazine articles and quite possibly a biography of the life and times of my son, (which will aptly be titled, “If I Can’t Taste, I Can’t Eat”) will be written and hopefully published. (Junior’s bio will explain the title and the other nuances of 18 years of living with and raising a “spirited child.”)
As five years counts down to four, then three, etc., I am confident that this list will grow past its current six items. There is so much left to see and do……