Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thoughts Before Sleep

(Photo from
I will soon be, officially, a senior citizen. I've received my medicare card in the mail, I've been looking over retirement plans, and as my friend J often jokes, I am now on the 20 year life plan. (Actually I'm opting for the 30 year plan with a rider as 95 seems a respectable age to shoot for.)

I have the obligatory bucket list with entries like traveling to as many places as possible, seeing my grandchildren marry, walking across America, etc. But last night as I lay in bed trying to fall asleep, another list altogether entered my mind. I laughingly dubbed it my "Just Once" list as it grew to include some rather bizarre desires. Nevertheless, here it is.

I would like just once to:

1. Be taken care of completely without my having to lift a finger. I don't want to be sick to have this happen but remain in complete control of my senses so I can enjoy to the fullest one entire day of having someone a) wash my hair, b) give me a full body massage, c) cater to my every dietary whim, d) turn down the sheets on my freshly made bed, e) hover over me solicitously and f) read me to sleep. I realize that one can attend a day spa and hire a maid to accomplish all this but I have the money for neither, which leads me to...

2. Have enough money so that I can go to bed without puzzling out how I am to pay the bills and still eat. I am not so much interested in spending the money lavishly (or frivolously) as I am in knowing that it's there as I need it.

3. Have a chauffeur. I used to live with a fellow who liked to drive. Now if I want someone else to do the driving I must first drive to them. For example, none of my children live closer than an hour and a half away. Before they can drive me about their neighborhoods, I must get myself to their neighborhoods. I used to love driving but now the merest hint of bad weather, any dire news of highway accidents or strange sounds in my car put me into an apoplectic fit. I go, but I'm not happy about it.

4. Win big. I know one must buy a lottery ticket to stand a chance (some blonde jokes are funny) but those times that I invested a treasured dollar have resulted in disappointment. Just once, I'd like to be the one crying on TV because I've just been given a million dollars (tax free) or the one who opens her mailbox to find a check for an outrageous amount of money from an undisclosed but compassionate source. The only thing I've ever won in my life was a chintzy pillow at the county fair when I was 12. (And I was shooting for the giant teddy bear!)

5. Be slim again, twenty again, and in the position to make an entirely different decision about the life I was about to give up in order to embark on the life I did. I have few regrets, even more blessings and a life now that is quite satisfactory in every way but monetary. Still, I'd like to see what my parallel lives would have been like.

6. Spend a day completely pain free. My feet ache, my knees hurt, my knuckles throb, my back seizes up.  While I'm at it, I'd like my hearing and vision restored to their hitherto perfection. (After I thought about this one, I realized that having experienced that, I'd be more than reluctant to return to my current state. Still...)

7. I would like to know what follows once my 20 year life plan expires and I along with it. I might forget it once I've been shown, or I might assign it to a mere dream, but some part of me would then be able to relax enough so that I can enjoy the next bit of my life story with all the abandonment and delight I felt as a child. (Which, come to think of it, list or no list, is just what I intend to do!)