I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with friends and family! We have a lot to be thankful for.
My husband asked me to help him bleed the brake lines in his '69 Mustang convertible this weekend. Pumping and releasing the brakes several hundred times gave me a moment to observe and ponder. I had a '74 Mustang as my first real car in the 80s, and the technology of his convertible was close to my yuck yellow one with the avocado-colored top. (I saved my money from my part-time job to have it painted red.)
I drive a 2015 Mustang now, so looking at the gears and switches was a trip down memory lane. The '69 has slides for the defroster and heat (no air conditioning), a cylinder on the floor for the high beams, a cassette player, metal slide seatbelts, windows that wind down, a hard plastic steering wheel with a mental arc for the horn, and a square key for the ignition and a round one for the trunk. It also has an ashtray and cigarette lighter.
Juxtaposed to my '15, I don't have to take the key out to open the doors or start the engine as long as it's in my purse. I can even start the engine remotely if I want to warm the car up. And the kickin' sound system, phone, and climate controls are changed on the touchscreen in the dash, or I can use voice commands. I can get music through AM, FM, satellite, my phone, or a host of other devices. And I can enjoy my tunes from space in my heated or cooled seats.
This week is all about memories. My high school reunion is coming up soon, and I'm looking forward to seeing friends who've known me since kindergarten and the old high school. We're going to the homecoming game on Friday. At some point, we're the same people from back then, but in other ways, we're not. We've changed (on all levels), and had a lot of experiences outside of those school walls we shared for twelve years.
We've come a long way. I love the nostalgia of the reunion and the classic cars. It's fun for a summer cruise with the top down, but for every day life, I like my airbags, computer-controlled engine, anti-lock brakes, power steering, and padded steering wheel.
I love visiting the past. The nostalgia and memories are great. But like with the cars, I've adapted to the technology and ways of today. And, there's a reason that the rearview mirror was designed to be a lot smaller than the windshield.
Enjoy the memories and where we've come from, but celebrate the present and where you're going. Every decade has its own surprises.
Disney and Riley are Jack Russell Terriers, and life at my house is always an adventure. They have two settings, warp speed or sleep.
Here's what I've learned from them...
1. Live in the now. Today is what's important. The past and future don't matter as much.
2. Play hard. Life can't be all work. Everything is a game to a Jack.
3. Nap when you need to. You need to recharge every once in a while.
4. Don't waste a beautiful day inside. Go outside and have fun.
5. Know when it's time to cuddle on the couch with a good book.
6. Bark if you need to, but not too much.
7. Wag and make friends. Relationships are important.
I keep telling myself that I'm not middle-aged. I plan to live to a hundred, so I have some years before I reach my midpoint.
I'm at that strange time where I feel pops and creaks. Fun and dare-devil activities have been toned down for fear of doing real bodily harm. I've roller skated, skied, sledded, sailed, and tubed. I can mark those off the old bucket list. Though, I'd still like to try hang-gliding one day in Kitty Hawk. I ruptured an Achilles tendon a few years back, and it took years to get back to semi-normal. I still can't descend steps quickly or wear high heels. So now, there's always that little voice in my head when I think I want to have an adventure.
I have high school friends who are becoming grandparents. How did that happen? We were just in college. I also have some high school friends who have toddlers because they waited late in life for kids or they started a second family.
Being in the sandwich generation is interesting. I am reminded daily of my dinosaur status by the twenty-somethings at work. I went to a trendy store at the mall on Friday to get my niece a gift card for Christmas. I knew standing in line at the cash register that I was clearly on the path to becoming one of the "old" people. The store was too dark, and the music was some throbbing techno-tronic industrial pop that sounded more like screeches and screams. In the fifteen minutes that I was there, I couldn't decipher any words. Then kin of the Addams Family waited on me. I had flash backs to Halloween, and I felt like Marilyn Munster in the store. They all were staring at me. If you don't know who Marilyn is, Google her. I'm sure there are some episodes on YouTube.
I just want it noted that I'm not ready for the glue factory yet. I'm finally at a point in my life where I don't worry as much as I used to. I wish I would have enjoyed my twenties more and not stressed so much. If I could talk to my younger self, here's my advice.
1. I have reached the point in my life where I don't care what's trending in pop culture or fashion. I don't know the latest bands or who's kissing whom. I'm interested occasionally, but there are too many other things that grab my attention.
2. Don't stress so much. You cannot take life or yourself that seriously. Who cares what others think or say. Wear what you want to wear (as long as all the important parts are covered).
3. Forgive and let the small stuff go. There are stupid people in this world, and you can't always fix them.
4. Be kind to others, even when you don't feel like it.
5. Jettison friends or acquaintances who constantly belittle or bring you down. Don't feel like you have to continue these relationships because you've invested time and energy. Spend your time and energy where it's appreciated.
6. Don't isolate yourself. You need friends, confidants, and healthy relationships. Balance the social media with real human contact.
7. Enjoy life. Marvel at the sunrises and rainbows. Don't miss the fun because you're preoccupied with the small things. Unplug once in a while.
8. Keep all of your life in balance.
Enjoy what's left of your weekend. It's going to be in the high 50s here in Central Virginia. (That's a gift for December.) I'm going outside with the Pair of Jacks to play.