We’ll Be Right Back After This Commercial Message

Please don’t hit the skip button.  Please don’t go make a sandwich.  Please don’t decide that now is the moment to take the dog out for a walk.  Please stay with me while I engage in a little crass commercialism.  I realize that this is not the Super Bowl and the chances are nil that you will enjoy this word from our sponsor more than the planned blog content. Still, you never can tell, can you?  Who knows?  I might come up with a clever talking lizard or a miniature donkey colt who dreams of becoming a blogger one day.  I might even get a celebrity endorsement… if I knew any celebrities, that is. 

Tomorrow, it will be two months until Christmas Eve.  It isn’t too soon to start shopping for your holiday gift-giving.  The home décor stores have been displaying Christmas merchandise for weeks now.  The shop-at-home catalogs that jam my mailbox are becoming more and more festive-looking.  QVC has been hawking partridges and pear trees since June.  Disney World starts their Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas parties the night after the last Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party.  I figure, if the big boys are pushing Christmas, who am I to argue?

I’d like to suggest a gift that I am sure will delight everyone on your list. How often do you run across a gift that is appropriate for everyone from your mother-in-law to your plumber?

Please consider purchasing mass quantities of my book, Changing My Mind: Reinventing Myself In Retirement by Dorry Curran to give to all your friends and family members.  Just go to Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com or any other online bookseller and get those keyboards smoking! I realize that the focus of the book is retirement and some of your giftees might be several decades away from leaving the workforce.  It is never too early to plan.  Also, while the framework of the book is retirement, most of the content can really apply to anyone who is going through any kind of life transition.  And isn’t that everybody?

Peace on earth, everybody.  Peace on earth. 

Come on, show a girl a little love! For those of you who have already read the book, please give me a plug.  You can share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.com

Happy Shopping!

Terri/Dorry 😊

Overthinking

Socrates said that an unexamined life is not worth living.  Far be it from me to argue with Socrates, but it is possible to have too much of a good thing.

I think most people think I think too much.  Heck, I think I think too much.  Is that an oxymoron?

I tend to be a little overzealous in examining my own navel.  As I surf the crest of another decade, I think I am thinking more strenuously than is good for me. 

It isn’t that I think I am old.  It is more that I think I can see the dream of what I thought my life would be fading from the realm of possibility.  I thought my life would be a little more traditional (while also being deep and meaningful) than it has turned out to be.  I thought I’d get a romantic proposal and have a beautiful wedding, crammed filled with memorable, sentimental moments that everyone would think back on in reverie as the years passed.  I thought I’d have a family of kind, smart, courageous children, who I would gently rear into successful human beings. I thought those children would go on to restart the cycle of landmark moments and family celebrations, so that I would continue having new magical memories throughout my life. I thought my husband and I would work as a team. I thought we would share a world view and a rhythm of life.   I thought we would think in tandem. 

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I think I’ve run out of time. 

I think most people in my circumstances would have had a moment of clarity long ago and realized that the clock was ticking away any opportunity to create that dream.  At some point, I would have had to blow up the life I had if I wanted to roll the dice on that dream life.  I didn’t think I wanted to undergo a violent overthrow of my happiness at that time.

Truthfully, I still don’t.  While I didn’t get a romantic proposal and don’t have a husband, I have a partner in life who loves me.  Our relationship may not be romantic in the same way as movies and reality television shows, but we do have our own brand of romance and affection in abundance.  I don’t have any children, but I think I have made a positive impact on other people even if I did not give birth to them.  I’ve also had more time, energy, and money to pursue charitable endeavors and fulfilling, satisfying activities in my own life. I may not have another generation of people creating new memories and celebrations for me, but that motivates me to create my own.  I don’t think Max and I share all the same opinions, thoughts, routines, rhythms, and conventions, but I think we do pretty well as a team. 

Still, I have been thinking a lot more about the “what ifs” as I orbit around my 60th birthday. I try not to feel sad about the dream life that will never be because to do so would seem ungrateful in the extreme.  Sometimes, though, I get stuck at the intersection of Wistful and Regret when the light turns red.  I have a moment to pause and consider the scenery of the place I might have been.  Then, the light turns green and I go on with the wonderful life I have.

I do think I am exactly where I am supposed to be. That doesn’t mean that I don’t think about the other paths that might or might not have played out even more happily for me.  I understand that some people believe in moving heaven and earth to craft the life they want.  I admire them, but I also think that isn’t me.  I think I’m more of a “bloom where you are planted” kind of girl.  I think God put me on a particular path and that He curves that path as necessary, depending on the choices I make.  The choices I make may alter the details of my life a little bit, but the basic journey is going to be the same because that is what God has in mind for me.  

This is a comforting philosophy. I’d like to say I adhere to it all the time.  If I did say that, I’d be lying.  No matter how much certainty I muster that I am living the life I was meant to live, I still sometimes covet that other dream life that is slipping away… no, not slipping away… more like crashing down a cliff in a giant landslide of age!

What do you think?  Do I think too much?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you cane email me at www.terrilabonte.com

Have a thoughtful day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

Turns Out I Speak Caveman

To all you fine folks who reached out to assure me I am not abnormal after my recent post, “Different” Doesn’t Always Mean “Worse” ( http://www.terrilabonte.com/2019/09/different-doesnt-always-mean-worse/), I appreciate your support.  You are, however, wrong. 

Let me tell you a story which I hope will put to bed all protestations that I am perfectly normal.  Something happened recently that demonstrates the cherry on top of the sundae that is my abnormality. 

I read that Disney World is going to completely renovate and refurbish the Spaceship Earth attraction at Epcot.  Spaceship Earth is an iconic Epcot experience.  It is one of the few original Epcot rides that still exists, 47 years later.  Many people don’t even know that the ride is called Spaceship Earth.  People normally refer to it as the “golf ball” ride or that “ride at the entrance of the park inside that big geodesic dome thingy.”  For the uninitiated, the ride is a slow-moving exploration of the history of human communication.  Currently, Dame Judi Dench voices the narration.  Like many attractions in the “Future World” section of Epcot, the ride is starting to fray around its cutting edges.  Let’s face it, the future becomes the past rather regularly in a 47-year time period.  You may ask, if the ride is about the history of human communication, how does it become dated?  The problem is that this history stopped in 1976 when Steve Wozniak developed the first home computer.

Anyhoodle, when I read that this bastion of Disney attractions was going to be closed for two years to reimagine it, I knew I wanted to experience it for about the hundredth time on my next trip to Epcot.  Max and I went to Epcot the other day, Fast Passes for Spaceship Earth locked and loaded on our annual passholder cards. 

As we began our trip back into communication, there was a scene showing cavemen developing a spoken language.  I listened to the cavemen speaking and kept hearing the word “umboday” over and over again.  In a split second, my mind took a rollicking tour through weirdness and reached an incredible destination.  “Umboday” is Pig Latin for “Dumbo.”  Hidden Mickey Hunters, eat your hearts out!

It is abnormal… no, bizarre… that I had this revelation.  The real question, though, is how my disturbed mind got from “I wonder how we know what spoken language the cavemen had?” to “oh my gosh, that’s Pig Latin for Dumbo!”  It’s creepy, but I can even tell you, roughly, how my mind processed all this.  Here are some of the thoughts that shot through my brain, rather like the data points zipping through the “modern” super computer the size of a building that is featured on the ride:

  • I know Disney did a lot of technical research when they opened Animal Kingdom to make sure the park was accurate and sensitive to the cultures it represented.  Did they do the same for this ride?
  • Wait; how could they research the spoken language of primitive man?  How would we know before there were any written records?   
  • There were no tape recorders, nor surviving eye witnesses, right?
  • Does archeology know anything about languages before the writings on cave walls?
  • On the Tomorrowland Transit Authority ride (for those of us with a memory… the PeopleMover), the soundtrack includes an announcer paging “Tom Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow” (Tomorrow… get it?). I heard something about a project or company or character called Yisned (Disney spelled backwards).  Is the “umboday” thing a trick?
  • They are talking about the fact that the world’s body of knowledge was preserved after the fire of Rome because middle Eastern scholars kept copies of most of the books in their libraries.  I wonder if any of the titles on those books shown in that scene mean “It’s A Small World” in Hebrew or Arabic or something.  That would be cute.  They should totally do that in the redesign.
  • Hmmm… “umboday… umboday”… oh wait, that’s Dumbo in pig Latin!

There is so something wrong with me!  I am definitely abnormal. 

I went home and posted my observation on Facebook.  I belong to a couple of Disney passholder groups.  I thought my fellow Disnerds in those groups would get a kick out of the information.  Either that, or they would tell me I was late to the party and everyone who is anyone already knows this.  It turns out that I have never before posted ANYTHING on Facebook quite as engaging as this.  As I write this, over 125 people have already reacted to my newsflash and that number is growing.  

I am sure that many of you are reading this and thinking, “she’s a total loon.”  On the other hand, I seem to belong to quite the flock of loons, given the Facebook response.  Maybe I’m abnormal, but maybe I am also rare and exotic.

Is it bad that I want to go back on the ride to see if I can translate the rest of the caveman conversation?  Just what are they saying about Dumbo?  Maybe… “your children will be scarred for life if they don’t get to ride Dumbo?”

What is the weirdest thought that has ever struck you?  If that is too broad a question, how about the weirdest thing you’ve thought this week?  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement @gmail.com. 

Have a weird day!

Terri/Dorry 😊

How Did I Ever Get To Be 60 And Other Mysteries Of The Universe

Do we call a group of flamingos a “flamboyance” because flamingos are such an effective demonstration of the quality we call “flamboyance” or do we have a quality called “flamboyance” based on the name for a group of flamingos?  What came first… the flamingo or the flamboyance? 

“Why does the English language not have gender-neutral third person singular pronouns?  Isn’t it really irritating to have to keep saying or writing “he” or “she” and “him” and “her?”  Wouldn’t it be so much easier to be able to use one pronoun? Since I am thinking it up, I think I should get to create the words.  I propose the words “te” and “ter” in honor of… well, me. 

How can a state claim to be in the middle of a drought when my feet are regularly died the color of my shoes because of the torrential rainstorms I must navigate to get from my car to the grocery store?

How did I ever get to be 60 years old?

Yes, I turned 60 the other day.  I can’t believe it.  I don’t feel 60.  As much as I identify as Tinker Bell, I admit that there is some Peter Pan in me, too.  I never really grow up.  I guess that means I don’t really grow old, either.   At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

I remember asking my father, thirty years ago, “How did I ever get to be 30?” He was less than sympathetic. He responded, “How do you think it feels to have a daughter who is 30?”  Maybe it is partly because I do not have children aging in front of me that I lose perspective about the passage of time.  I know it always jolts me into a cruel reality when I see kids I knew as youngsters “suddenly” graduating, getting married, or celebrating other such milestones.  I gave a baby shower for a friend of mine not too long ago.  That baby now has a graduate degree, is married, and has a baby of his own.  Could it really be that “not too long ago” was actually the mid-eighties?

I have school pictures of my godson and his older brother on my wall.  The pictures date from a time when you could articulate their ages with one digit.  Heck, you barely needed two hands to count the number of years in their ages.  I also have a family picture with them in it from around 2005.  They were two combustible packages of energy throwing themselves into the job of growing up.  I saw them a couple of years ago and they were both taller than I am.  They don’t even look like the same people.

Do I look like the same person I was 15 years ago?  I think I do.  I look older, certainly, but I am sure you could pick me out of a lineup today if you met me in 2004.  I probably don’t even look that different than I did when I was lamenting my 30th year to my father.  Older, wrinklier, and creakier, certainly.  I don’t claim that the ravages of time have left me unaltered.  The point is, I still look like the same person.

I feel like the same person, too.  If anything, I have aged younger in the last few years.  Free from the stressors of work and many of the expectations I used to impose on myself, I am much freer than I used to be.  My heart is lighter and I am much less… well… fraught

I hope to continue on my current anti-aging path for at least a few more years.  I think I can fool my body into believing it is younger than it is.  Some people try to turn back the hands of time with plastic surgery, trendy clothes, or social media picture filters.  I do it by mind control.  I celebrated my 60th birthday at the Magic Kingdom. That has got to count for something!

Where did the time go?  Do the years sneak up on you, too?  Tell us about it!  Please share your perspective by leaving a comment.  In the alternative, you can email me at terriretirement@gmail.com

Have a mysterious day!

Terri/Dorry 🙂