January 31, 2012 – Other than a few long term goals, I have lived my life in five-year increments of short-term goals. When I was 20 years old, I had an idea of what I wanted my life to be like when I was forty. However, when I turned thirty, circumstances had changed and what I wanted my life to be like when I was forty had changed also. At age twenty I did not want to get married. I wanted to live and work overseas, spending two years in different places and choosing the one I liked best for retirement. By the time I was thirty I was married to a wonderful man who had already traveled the world in the Navy. He was not interested in any more overseas travel, so we compromised. I spent two years working and traveling in Southwest Asia (Iran and Bahrain) and came home to marry him and settle down in Jacksonville, FL. Al had agreed to take vacations overseas with me. We’ve traveled to Europe and Japan together. I was also going to graduate school at age thirty to change careers. My back was injured and the lifting required as a physical therapist was not easy, so I got a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. I could never have predicted that when I was only twenty years old!
Now I am retired. I have been working on the New Year’s resolutions as written in my previous post. I have accomplished two out of three of them. Al showed me how to adjust the treadmill’s belt; I wrote the instructions down. By the way, I can now walk a mile in half an hour. That’s like running a marathon compared to where I was ten months ago! Al has a phenomenal sense of spatial relationships. He can look at furniture, look at the size of the room, and visualize exactly what will fit where, without measuring anything! When I try to rearrange a room, the furniture doesn’t fit right, even when I measure. So I got Al to visualize where I should hang things on the wall in my office, and he, as usual, sized it up in 5 seconds. Then he got the hammer, screwdriver, and fasteners and hung 20 plaques/pictures and 2 shelves while everything was still fresh in his mind. Eleven of the plaques pertained to my career and five plaques were ones that Dorothy was awarded in high school/college. My third goal is almost completed. I have only to get Al to hang two more wall hangings. I have decorated my office with items from Asia. I also displayed some of the Christmas cards on the wall, especially those that have family pictures. So when I sit in my office, I am surrounded by visual reminders of my friends and supporters (Christmas cards), accomplishments and colleagues from my career (plaques), my only child Dorothy’s accomplishments (plaques), and my life and travels in Asia (décor).
Living my life in five-year increments means I can always say that, should some fatal accident happen today, I have no regrets. I have already accomplished what I wanted to do in my life until now. Should I live longer, I will accomplish more things, but I will have no regrets when it is time to meet my Maker in Heaven. I have shared with you this philosophy because I have now met one of my long-term goals (plan for retirement) and am about to embark on my next set of five-year short-term goals. There are two places in the world that I have always wanted to see, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica. I am not wasting any time; Al and I have already booked both trips. We leave next month for the Galapagos. That is why I am exercising on the treadmill daily, to build up my walking endurance. The Galapagos are a world heritage nature preserve. In November 2012 we will be going to Antarctica. Please pray for safe travel for me and Al on our trip to the Galapagos. All your prayers so far have healed my lungs so that I am able to make this international trip with written medical clearance from my oncologist!
Pictures show my office that Al has been working so hard on. The five plaques over the shelf with 5 cups are Dorothy’s awards; the 11 plaques around the mirror are mine; two of the pictures show cards and pictures of my supportive friends (with items from Russia on the shelf); the last picture shows personal items that were given to me by close friends and relatives over the years. So when I sit in my office, I am surrounded by items that remind me how loved I am. Thank you!