Many years ago, as a little girl, Sunday afternoon was the time to go visiting.
I would go with my folks to pay short visits to relatives and other family members. I was expected to sit quietly while Mom visited and to behave.
Ahhh, goals of mothers. This is why the visits were short. I did pretty well, I think, but my mom probably thought otherwise.
What I remember most about these visits is the photographs. Every home, every family, had a photo of a young couple getting married, with the bride beautifully dressed and the groom in a suit. They were young and happy and possibly scared out of their wits!
By the time I got through dreaming about a beautiful wedding, times were a changing. We saw pictures of beautiful young women, long flowing print dresses, flowers in their hair, being married in fields of flowers or hilltops. Things change, customs change, But people are always making plans.
We hear it on the TV every day: Plan for your retirement. Plan for the future.
How novel. We seem to be planning for the future from the day we are born. We plan on grabbing that finger being waggled in front of us as babies. We plan on climbing on that chair to reach the cookie jar. We plan on going to school . . . .Our plans are endless. We plan as long as we live.
So plans go on and sure enough, they change.
Our lives change, too. By the time you get to your 60s, you have had several lives.
You have had the one you shared with your parents or the people who raised you. This is life number one.
The second one for some people is college or possibly even military service, or jumping ahead to enter the work force. Back years ago, during Vietnam and the wars before it, a lot of people didn’t make it past life number two. Their plans ended.
Then on to life number three, which is where a lot of us raise kids or focus on work, and almost seem to have no independent life. You go from event to event like a kite on a string.
All the while most of us are formulating in the back of our minds, what we will do when we no longer have to work. Most of us don’t plan on doing the retirement thing alone.
I have a bother and two sisters. The last thing any of them planned was losing their spouse. Yet all three of them did. They are all widowed. So are a number of women that I know. Widowed means huge change of plans.
So as much as we plan, as much as we look into that crystal ball into the future, it may not be the life we wanted or saved for or even ever in our wildest dreams imagined.
But we tuck it into our belts and we go on. We look back onto our previous lives, and we sigh. We all have homes, and food and shelter. We have jobs if we need them and people we trust and value.
So whatever your piece of life is right now, whatever number you are on, smile. Remember what you had that was good. Realize that even if what you have right now is hard, it can and will change.
As John Lennon said, life is what happens when you are making other plans.
Life goes on within you and without you