Thursday, July 12, 2007

Can You Get There From Here?

I was just reading an article in the July issue of O Magazine called "You're Middle-Aged But Are You Done? Discuss". The author, Caitlin Flanagan, got a group of middle-aged women together to take stock of their lives and discuss them. The women all had different takes on the way their lives had turned out, but one of the things I found the most interesting was the questions Flanagan used to get the discussions started. I found myself answering them.

1. When you were 18, what did you imagine your future would look like? How close does your life today come to that vision? I imagined I would be a teacher, happily married with children and grand-children, living in a nice house. Pretty darn close to my life now. I'm very lucky and I never take it for granted.

2. What is the one piece of advice you wish you'd been given as a young person? Don't change your major in college. Stay in education. It's really what you want to do and, instead of becoming a teacher/librarian at 36, you can do it at 21 and have SO many more years in the system when you retire.

3. What was the best money you ever spent? The money we spent on our first cruise for our 20th anniversary. Tom never wanted to vacation before that - never felt the appeal - but he loves it now. It has literally changed our lives. We will be traveling until we can't get around. And maybe we will push each other in a wheelchair even then!

4. What was your biggest financial mistake - the complete waste of money that haunts you to this day? All the money we wasted when we were first married. We didn't save, we didn't invest, we just wasted money paying on credit cards and doing other stupid things. We should have planned better.

5. Is sex with your husband a pleasure to savor or just one more item to check off your to-do list? If the latter, when did that change take place - and do you actually care? Since my daughter AND my mother read this blog, I'll just say a pleasure to savor. Enough said.

6. What has been the best surprise about married life? And the worst? I never realized how close we would become when our children grew up and left home. We are best friends now. But it's a real pain to have to cook dinner some nights when I would be happy with a bowl of cereal.

7. What is the best thing about being a woman? The worst? My friends. I love spending time with them, talking to them, sharing things with them. Men don't seem to have that same experience. The worst was first having periods, then going through menopause. Both are a real pain. Literally.

8. At this point in your life, is there a dream you will never get to fulfill? What is it - and what makes you so sure it's out of reach? I don't think I am ever going to write a book, which I had kind of always thought I would. I like to write, but I just don't think I am talented enough to describe the characters and the settings. Just don't think it's going to happen. Although you never know. Who knew a year ago that I would be writing a blog?

What about you? How would you answer these questions? Share in your comments if you want, of send me a link to your blog. I'm interested.


Lucy's Mom said...

Thanks for the post idea. I will definitely answer these questions. I've already done a quickie in my head and I think it is surprising (or not) how similar some of our answers will be.

Elizabeth said...

THANK YOU for censoring #5, I might have to burn my eyes out otherwise.