By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Lately I feel like I am running out of time. I have always felt there just wasn’t enough time on a day-to-day basis, but now I feel like I am running out of time in the BIG picture. As I look at the list of things I want to accomplish in my life and I compare it to the number of years I may (or may not) have left, I realize that I kinda gotta get it together pretty quickly. This has been weighing on me quite heavily. I don’t have that sense of impending doom that I usually experience before my birthday, but it is close.
When one comes to a crossroad such as this you can ruminate on it and do nothing, or you can make a decision and take action. I am more of an action person, but my record on the decision-making part is dubious at best. This is the part where I could list all of the really bad decisions I have made in my life, but I am afraid the length of the column would require a dedicated issue of the Los Alamos Daily Post. I think I will just eek them out one at a time so I have enough material for a column every week.
As I discussed my lifetime achievement to-do list — versus years left to accomplish the lifetime achievement to-do list — with my husband, he made it clear that his list consists of spending more time with our children and grandchildren, enjoying our home on the banks of the Pojoaque River (I bet you didn’t even know there was a Pojoaque River), and if we fit in a few other trips that would be great. He has always been much easier to please than me.
So, off we went. We have spent much of the last three weeks with children and grandchildren we don’t get to see very often. I have to give a shout out to my husband because he spent two nights sleeping on the ground in a backyard tent with our six-year-old grandson in Knoxville. He also spent three days building sandcastles on the beach in Gulf Shores with our great-granddaughters.
Every night the sandcastle would disappear and the next day they would begin again. The joy was in the act of creating the sandcastle and trying new techniques to see what would work well, what was possible. He was fully-engaged the entire time. That is no easy feat. We have a lot of grandkids. I get tired just thinking about it.
Now I am re-evaluating my lifetime achievement to-do list. This list consists of things I thought I had to do to feel like I made a difference in the world. Things I thought I had to do to leave the world a better place than when I arrived. But when I look at my children—between my husband and me we have five of them—every single one of them is working to making the world a better place. Is there a better legacy than that?
My lifetime achievement to-do list is changing, evolving. I am now making decisions that will give me more time to be with family, more time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us every day, and more time to do things that bring me joy, including building sandcastles.