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One Life

My Granddaughter looked up from her video game. “Dad, how many lives do we get?” she asked innocently.

“Just one.” He replied.

“Awww-www!” Disappointed, she turned back to her device.

With the dawn of a new decade I find myself realizing that my one life is headed in the wrong direction—down—like 6 feet under. That one life seems to be picking up speed and I don’t know how to slow it down.

My husband likes to drive the speed limit, while I tend to go at least 5 over.

“Why are you always in a hurry?” he often barks.

“Because life is too short to poke along!” is my standard reply.

Now that it’s 2020 I’m realizing how true those words are. I’m not going to slow down unless I absolutely have to. I don’t think I’m going through a late-life crisis, it’s more like this: With the turn of another landmark year, I am seeing the curve of the road ahead and that I’m actually not in control of my speed.

Honestly, in a lot of ways I feel like I’m only 21. Mentally, I’m a wild, brand-new adult, with just more blank… what are they called… oh yeah, Scrabble pieces. Blanks are good, right? Physically it’s a little different. I’m still wild—I have neck pain like a giraffe, the coordination of a sloth and the body of a baboon. But hey, at least I have the frantic speed of an ostrich and the memory of uh, ummmm… oh yeah, of an elephant! See? I’m still wild! Am I repeating myself?

It’s not that I want to live forever. It’s just that there is so much I want to do before I croak. Are frogs considered wild? Or toads? I wouldn’t go back to being a polliwog for any amount of… oh sorry. I’m digressing again. Where was I? Digressing. Yes, that’s exactly what I was talking about.

One of my New Year’s /Decade’s resolutions is to look at aging in a more positive light. For example, think of how many awesome movies I’ll be able to watch again for the first time. And newly discover my favorite books. I’ll be able to laugh fresh at the same old jokes. Getting old has its perks even if I’m not as perky. I'll try not to think of the possibility that I won't be able to follow the movie plot, see the print on the page or hear an audio book. OR not have any teeth when I laugh at jokes I don't get. Dang! I'm already forgetting my positivity resolution. I'd stop and write it down if I had the time. Maybe I should ask Siri to make a note. I bet she could recommend a good video game while she's at it. One with lots of lives.

If you really think about it, it doesn’t matter how old you are. Your only guarantee is that you’re alive and kicking today. It’s better to speed down the hill shouting WOOPEE! than getting hit by a bus tomorrow. So I refuse to slow down even though the road is dwindling. Long or short we only get one life.

Is that a cop I see in my rear-view mirror?