Monthly Essays

2019 essays

NOW Do It

Now that another birthday milestone has passed, now that my arthritic thumb aches more, now that I think the ‘second middle age’ some life coaches refer to is nearly over, I must look at what I want to accomplish or experience not just in this shimmering new year, but in my life, and do it NOW.

I’m not all doom and gloom looking ahead to a more mature age. Looking back, I value every hard lesson I’ve learned that has added to my so-called wisdom. But I’m not through learning, even if some joints are acting up. It’s time for adventure.

On Christmas afternoon, Landon, Jagger, and I walked the entire trail at Wildcat Glades, along the flowing waters of Shoal Creek and up the steep route to the uneven bluff path overlooking the stream. We saw three shiny kayaks, two green and one blue, skimming below. The afternoon was fine for late December, but not a day I would think of taking a dip in that winter water, so my imagination told me the kayaks were Christmas presents and the paddlers couldn’t wait to try them out.

Long ago when Jim and I lived at Lost Creek Ranch, we’d pass a slow summer evening in a canoe. I dangled my fingers in the lazy water while he paddled under the ceiling of leafy branches of trees that lined the creek, and we talked of pleasant things or didn’t talk at all, but relaxed in companionable silence.

Do you know I’ve never been on a many-hour canoe trip where I held a paddle? Not on Elk River, not on Shoal Creek, not on Big Sugar. I’ve never been dunked unexpectedly in the water. That may be something to experience this year, not the dunking, but a multi-hour canoe trip where a cooler is required.

Could this be the year I see Savannah? Ever since I read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil some fifteen years ago I’ve wanted to see the town with those historic squares. I’ve collected a map and a travel guide of the city, and I’ve looked at B&B reservations online, but I’ve never finalized the trip. If I put it on paper that this is the year I’ll drive to Georgia, won’t I make it happen?

That’s my plan. Write down what I want to experience this year, what I want to accomplish, where I want to go as we welcome the glistening year ahead.

So what’s your plan for 2019?

P.S. I know what I’ll do on one of those days. On January 3rd, Thursday, I’ll be in the grocery store checkout line picking up a copy of Woman’s World magazine (dated January 14) and quickly flipping to the romance short story to see my byline. My fifteen minutes of fame extends to the following Thursday when another writer will have the romance story in the weekly magazine.

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