A year ago, when I turned 60 and decided that I want to live at least 40 more years, I started my 100th Year Project, not knowing how it would change my life.
I’m separating from the man I’ve been partners with since my 20s. The last few months have been very difficult. My living arrangements are unsettled, so my habits and routines are jumbled.
My 60th year has been the busiest of my life. Before it’s over, I will have moved twice, put the heat to a back-burner passion, refreshed important friendships, picked up a new musical instrument and increased my income by improving my habits.
I am proud to be a farmer’s daughter and cherish my memories growing up on the farm. The first lambs and calves of the year meant spring was finally here. Winning a blue ribbon for my show pig at the county fair is an early accomplishment I’ll never forget.
When I turned 60, I knew for sure I wanted to live to at least 100.
I’ve been so busy the past 40 years with day to day details – earning a living, having a fun life, caring for my family. I hadn’t planned much for my future. I did quit smoking 20 years ago and started walking to counteract the weight gain. But other than that, aging isn’t something I’d thought much about.
Just when I thought this side of 60 my life could be more predictable, an unexpected storm blew in and changed everything. I shouldn’t have been caught so off guard.
I’ve had a blind faith in The Man Upstairs for a long time. I grew up small-town Catholic but knew little about the Bible. Catholics have Catechism, not Bible study. We did not have nuns. We were lucky to share a priest with a triangle of other farm towns.
I’ve come to the conclusion, in my seventh decade, that there really is no such thing as too much fun. It seems to follow that people with more friends tend to have more fun. So, I’m branching out and meeting new people.
A couple weeks ago, I had a real down-in-the-dumps day. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it because my life is normally good, and I’m grateful for so, so much.
I grew up near a rural town that had everything we needed: a grocery, the pharmacy and a hardware store. The main drag was lined with a bank and post office, a florist and the barber, our doctor and insurance agent. We even had a bowling alley that served a mean catfish dinner on Friday nights.