Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not Ready for the Rocking Chair

"My heart's not ready for the rocking chair."
    -- song by Martina McBride

Where I work, on major service anniversaries the employee gets to select an appropriate award. Thus, five years ago, after twenty-five years of service, I selected the traditional gold watch. This year, after thirty years of service, I selected the traditional "Boston Rocker". It was delivered this week and has already assumed a place in our living room. It's pretty to look at and sits very nice, but I'm not ready to assume a place there quite yet.

For some reason, rocking chairs have become symbolic of long service and pending retirement.  The porch at Grandma and Granddad's house had two rocking chairs side-by-side overlooking the road.  My grandparents would sit there on warm summer evenings and hold hands and talk and watch the world go by. I have fond memories of sitting there with them, but to assume their place in the rocking chair is not my nature. Maybe occasionally, once in a while, but not as a steady diet. My heart is not yet ready for the rocking chair. 

No, I'm still working on the lay-away plan, trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and doing my best to be all that I am intended to be.

I may have slowed down a bit. Age does that, and, like an old horse, I may have been ridden hard and put away wet a few too many times. But slow doesn't mean stopped.  

My priorities may have subtly shifted. Age and events do that too. The mortgage is gone.  The kids are out of the house, each assuming his or here rightful place as a responsible and productive adult member of society. And grand kids are a whole different set of emphases and priorities. 

My curiosity and interests are wider and more varied than ever. I not only find myself doing new things, but enjoying familiar things more. Instead of asking "Why?" or "How", I increasingly find myself asking "Why not?"  

A mission trip to repair and paint widows' houses and plant potatoes? Why not? 

A raised-bed garden in the back yard? Why not? 

Serve on the board of a non-profit?  Why not?

Do more ham radio? Why not indeed?

Life is good. Life is full.  I may not have decided what I want to be when I grow up, but each day beckons me with near-infinite possibilities and I intend to take advantage of each and every one of them.

My heart is definitely not ready for the rocking chair. There's way too much interesting stuff out there; too much to discover and do.

Will you join me?

To what possibilities is your mind saying "Why not?"

Why not take advantage?

Why not indeed?