Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Seizing the Day

by Judy Merrill Larsen

Most of the time, my husband and I are pretty practical. We plan things. Save up for splurges. We organize.

Every Sunday we go over our respective calendars for the week. This allows me to plan menus and make my grocery list.

We're certainly no sticks-in-the-mud (hmm, should that be stick-in-the-muds? I don't think so) unless you ask one of our kids. But no one would accuse us of being madcap very often, either.

Except for when it comes to spur of the moment trips.

Like the time in Dec. 2003, we decided the day before to drive to Indianapolis for a Springsteen concert (two states and another time zone away). Did we have tickets? Um, no. But, we got them, we had an incredible time, and we both showed up for work the next day, more or less. (I believe my students did some free-reading or small group work. I don't really recall.)

Or the phone call we got early last month asking if we had any interest in Game Two of the playoffs at Wrigley Field (250 miles away). Why, yes, we did, thank you very much. We had to rearrange a few things (like work and such), but we went. And if the Cubs hadn't lost 10-3 we'd have had a blast.

So, it seemed par for the course that we decided, just last night, along with my sister and her husband, to use our frequent flier miles for a trip to Washington, D.C. in January for the Inauguration. Do we have tickets? Not yet, no. We're not even sure we'll be able to get them (but if you know of any, holler, okay?), but that doesn't matter. Along with experiencing history being made, we'll get to play with my sister and her husband and my brother and his wife (who have graciously offered up a place to stay). It'll probably be cold (but I hope not rainy) and most certainly will be very crowded and chaotic, but that's fine by me.

And I'm realizing that I'm in a position now to do the kinds of things I used to only dream about--pick up and go, make plans at the last minute, seize the day. All things I couldn't do when my kids were younger and my checkbook was thinner (well, at least the kids are older now). All the things I used to think were only available to the young.

Being middle-aged, empty/almost-empty nesters has perks I'd never dreamed of and which I'm happily latching onto. I might never have that pre-pregnancy firm body again, but I have some things so much better--perspective and confidence and the ability to say, what the heck, let's do it.

Middle-age. I highly recommend it!


Lisa said...

I've been feeling like I'm in a rut lately, but you inspire me lady...Carpe Diem!

Judy Merrill Larsen said...

Go for it, Lisa (although you did just get back from a trip to Scotland!)

Daisy said...

It's a little tougher when the teenager is disabled, but we are still freer than we were when he was a tot.