A Case of the “Nevers”

First, I’m stealing this blog topic (and title) from another blogger that I recently started following. pscapp probably thinks I’m a stalker because I “like” every single blog post, but there is something about the writing that gets me thinking, so if you are looking for another blog to follow, I recommend this Reading, Writing, Running, and Rhythm

later-means-never-greenIf you read that post (no seriously, go back and read it) it is about turning 50 and realizing there are many things you always thought you would do, but now you realize you are never going to do them. I’m getting close to that age myself, and I recognized my own thoughts in those words. Where as once I had ambitions for myself, I now have ambitions for my daughter, who is 20 and still has plenty of time to achieve her dreams.

But at the same time, it is hard for me to realize I’m not 20 myself. I still kinda feel like my whole life is ahead of me and I have plenty of time to do the stuff I want to do. Don’t I? Do I?

And the thought keeps coming back, why can’t you do it? What’s getting in the way.

Well obviously my life is getting in the way. Turning 50 (I’m still over a year away, understand) is coming up in my thoughts again and again. This “milestone” birthday seems bigger and more significant than previous milestones. I don’t even remember turning 30. I was a single mother with a two-year old (undiagnosed) autistic child. On the list of things I cared about, my age was way, way, down the list. I kind of wanted 40 to be a celebration. I was in a relationship. My business was going well. I had lots to celebrate. But we got busy and it passed by without too much notice. I tried to have a party for my 45th. I got very, very sick and missed my own party. (I have bad karma when it comes to birthday parties. I have promised my family never to plan another one. But that’s a post for another blog.)

My new hero: Sister Marion Irvine. She was overweight and had never regularly exercised when she started jogging in her late 40s. By her 54th birthday she qualified for the US Olympic Trials.

My new hero: Sister Marion Irvine. She was overweight and had never regularly exercised when she started jogging in her late 40s. By her 54th birthday she qualified for the US Olympic Trials.

So what are my nevers?  And how many of them are really off the list? Which ones do I still have time for?

  • Get my black belt in karate.
  • Get my doctorate degree.
  • Write and publish a book.
  • Run a marathon.
  • Travel to Africa and Asia.
  • Learn another language.
  • Learn to play the guitar.
  • Sail the Caribbean and/or Mediterranean.

This is kind of a bucket list, but the nevers are a little different. As we grow older, we recognize that some of the things we always thought we would do are off the table for good. For example, I’m pretty much resigned that I’ll never be blackbelt. I did karate a lot in my 20s and tried to go back at one point in my 30s. However with two very weak ankles, it doesn’t seem like something I will get to do again. Probably. I’m not totally giving up on that one.

And others are only off the table if I don’t do something about it.  My grandfather was in his 60s when he learned to play the piano. He was so good, he taught many of his grandchildren, me included. And I’ve been researching the internet for people who were “late bloomers” making their most serious contributions after they turned 50. For example, Laura Ingalls Wilder published Little House on the Prairie when she was 65, Julia Child was in her 40s when she left her Intelligence Career to attend Le Cordon Bleu and 49 when her first cookbook was published, and Grandma Moses was in her 70s when she started painting.

Don't let her smiling fool you. This cardsharp pretended to be confused about the rules and then soundly beat me 10 out of 12 games.

Don’t let her smiling fool you. This cardsharper pretended to be confused about the rules and then soundly beat me 10 out of 12 games.

I’ve been talking about going back for my doctorate for about 10 years now. Time and money have always gotten in the way, but I feel like that is just an excuse. If you want something badly enough you have to work for it, make time, and find a way.

My grandmother passed away fairly recently. She was 103 when she died, and fairly active almost up until the end. She played golf and drove well into her 90s. I have good genetics and take care of my health, so I try to think about it as if I’m only about 1/2 way through with my life.

At the same time I know that I probably will not do all the things on my list. That’s what a “case of the nevers” means. I have come to grips with not doing some of them. Others, however, I don’t want to give up on just yet.

 

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9 thoughts on “A Case of the “Nevers”

  1. I think as we get older our focus narrows and we slowly (in my case anyway) begin to understand the things that are really important to us. I have 2 things I want to accomplish in the next few years or maybe before I croak. That’s all. Nice post. Lots to identify with here!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the ping back even if I don’t really know what that means. It’s easy for people to dispense advice across these pages that are not even paper but I guess they do qualifies as pages if someone is reading them. In reality I’m way over the 50 yard line. I didn’t think that writing about being over the 60 yard line of life would make sense and in reality I find myself jut having crossed the 65. It didn’t make me any smarter. But I would say go ahead and change the title of you blog now. Don’t wait. Stalk away. I really don’t mind. Thanks again for appreciating and liking what I have to say.

    Liked by 1 person

    • All a ping-back means is I linked to your post in my post. 🙂 (Love your blog so much, btw)

      I’ve had this blog for a long time, so I’m not ready to change the title. I’m thinking I’m going to change what the “forty” stands for. I’ve been pondering/plannign this for a while.

      I don’t actually mind getting older. I already tell people “almost 50” when they ask my age (always round up). It just seems weird to me that I am so much older than I feel. Of course a year and a half ago I felt so much older than I was. So all of this is just a state of mind.

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  3. Your Grandma is beautiful.
    I am acutely aware of my age these days (turning 50 next year). Somewhat jaw-dropped that I am approaching this mark, but mostly thinking that the best years are ahead. I am currently asking myself the question, “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” There’s a lot of life left to live, and first and foremost is getting my body in shape to take it on! Will check out pscapp’s blog. Thanks again for the inspiration.
    (ps- There are awesome videos on youtube for guitar…everything from instruction about chords to playing your favorite song.If you have the will, you have the way! Here’s a start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg-BRpn38L8)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Regarding Gma: Can you believe she was 102 in that pic? Really!

      Regarding “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?” Yes. Truly. I keep asking myself that.

      Like

  4. Is it a case of the nevers, or maybe some of the things that you wanted to do are no longer appealing to you? I find that the older I get, the things that I wanted to do early in life aren’t that interesting to me any longer.

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