As I was mulling over this depressing possibility, a song lyric from a show I did years ago popped into my head, nudging me to find a recording (on YouTube, as my CD, like so many other things in my house at the moment, has gone missing) and select just the right verse, which, ironically, belongs to a college student:
"I've been sitting here making decisions, just like you have. And so the thing that I did was to make myself a list. I put what I want on this side, and what I don't want over here. It was quite a bout, but I've worked it out. And now the answer's very clear........I want it all!"
And her "all" encompasses (among other things) "adventure, love, career, kids large and small" along with
"a quiet, simple life and some glory. And Steven Spielberg filming my first story."Yup. That's about right.
Though I should be the older woman -- the voice of reason ("Oh no, my friends. There's no two ways to slice it. You must choose, my friends...."), well, I'm just not.
Or maybe I am. Even as she counsels that there are "things any grown-up, practical woman gives up if she's wise..." she, too, arrives at the same conclusion, with her ultimate war cry against settling and practicality coming at the end of the song: "I could get used to this!"
Well, it's been two years. I've gotten used to a lot of things. Never did I think I'd find myself getting used to a schedule that was even crazier than the one I left behind, but there you have it. As I've noted before, for me, retirement didn't "take."
Although those first few months of peaceful planning were nice, as I look at the "all" that comprises my life right now, I can't imagine what I'd part with. (Though not parting with anything does lead to parting with things like sleep and order...) It's easy to look at commitments and think that if I eliminated just one, I'd have a lovely open space on my calendar (that elusive thing called "free time" that I've heard others speak of), but in my crazy "I want it all!" mindset, I've actually chosen all those things that keep me leapfrogging from one calendar square to the next. (Except for things like cooking and cleaning...but I think others would object to my elimination of those).
Besides, I'm an optimist. I keep thinking it's all going to work. Achieving balance takes time, after all, and it's complicated by the fact that just when you think you've got it, something comes along that knocks everything off-kilter.
But on the good days, things come along that remind me why I keep juggling. As I was typing this, my daughter came home from school. And I was here. Exactly where I wanted to be.
And I've definitely gotten used to that.