Saturday, October 19, 2013

Savor the Moment

Spiderweb plates trap fog beads  

My generation, trapped between the Fifties and the Sixties, our mothers repressed by the Depression. We're coming into what might be a time of reward and fulfillment...if we weren't so worried about having enough money to survive our "golden" years.

When I was a child and reading a book, my mother put me to work, "since you aren't doing anything." I took off three decades during my peak earning years to be an artist, and developed an iron sense of self-discipline by necessity, in order to survive. I wasn't able to save enough to retire on, so had to spend twenty or more years doing health care.

Last peppers of Fall

I've never really been happy working for anyone but myself, or doing anything but Art, and now my financial planner/friend, says I can afford to take a chance on Art and myself long as I don't develop any extravagant living habits. Freedom is my highest extravagance, and I am slowly unclenching, and slowing down my pace to savor every bit of life, from the Farmers' Market fresh kale, shallot, and chanterelle omelette with a cranberry/lemon scone, to the seagull examining me from the rock pile at Ediz Hook on a foggy Friday, to the radio song like a jewel, stopping me from getting out of the car.

Seagull against fog, Ediz Hook, Friday afternoon

Now it's OK to lie in bed, reading a semi-trashy novel, instead of jumping up to Get Ready at 6am. I can spend time looking through the piles of books on my dining table and doing drawings, taking notes. I'm still getting used to this new pace, threatening to fill up my time with new Projects. Delighting in my successes now that I am taking the time to pursue opportunities.

Maya, picking up her portrait


And I am wondering why I am "entitled" to this time freedom? I have been working and saving for over 50 years, letting the government use a share of my earnings. I don't own a flat screen TV or an SUV, but I DO want  the modest living I've worked for, health care if I need it, like the other "advanced" nations of the world give their elders. I am NOT Willing to give my hard-won security to the Tea Party or any other oblivious government functionary just to make a rich corporation a little richer.

Nancy with portrait of her and James

Exquisite food, not expensive, good friends, appreciating what lies around me, putting effort into staying healthy and being a responsible citizen, doing work I love and sharing it with others. And I'll work on not feeling guilty about taking time to enjoy my life. 

Won't you join me?


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