By Lisa Huddleston
Some days are so packed with “have to dos” that it seems as though I can never get around to my “want to do” list. And that’s exactly where you’ll find me right now. I just left the Adult Learning Center (work I enjoy when I have time) and am sitting on the lovely campus of Cumberland University to borrow some internet. Country living is great, but not for providing internet–no signal, again. Ironically, I am here because I need to work on a project for my on-line class, but I have decided to squeeze some blog time in for good measure and just because I want to.
Ahhh … let me settle in to this a little bit. Feels good. Feels right. So why did I feel a need to upset my life by taking classes this semester? I was beginning to find my stride in this Second Half life I’m now living. I was working out, creating, writing, volunteering, and enjoying my days. Now I am checking assignments, making deadlines, and designing presentations–all things that add stress to my life. Again I ask–why?
Well, something in me always rises to a challenge. I like to achieve goals, and that is a good thing. In fact, I believe if I’m not growing then I’m dying. But this time I let other people pick my goal for me, and I’m too old (although clearly not too wise) to let that happen. Goals are great, but I only enjoy them when I care about reaching them. This time all I have really learned is that I do not fit into institutional settings very well–and I already knew that! That’s why I’m more comfortable with odd, quirky people, with home-made learning, with non-denominational gatherings, and so on. My daughter says I’m a nonconformist, and I gleefully respond, “It takes one to know one!” And maybe it also takes one to truly appreciate one.
Yes, I will finish well. I will do the best I can to complete my assignments, and I will take away the learning that I can use–perhaps not in ways that others would like me to, but no learning is wasted. And that is a good thing, too. I am thankful to affirm who I am. I love the new people I have been able to meet. And I truly have enjoyed the exercise for my aging brain. But I am who I am, and here in the Second Half I need to make time to be just that.
Three weeks and counting …. Next time I mention doing something that everyone knows is NOT me–and we all know it’s bound to happen–somebody, please, stop me!