A lot of women, when they reach our age, resolve that it’s time to turn their lives around. They’re going to seize the day! Live with gusto! Strive to fill every waking moment with something new and exciting.
Not me. I don’t want to live life to the fullest each day. I’d rather stay home and read.
In my youth, I did some world traveling and had, for a middle-class Jewish girl, a certain number of adventures. Nothing extraordinary, lavish or — God forbid — self-destructive. I lived in London and Paris. I visited Bali and Singapore. I had a couple of love affairs. I did a little coke. But I never got drunk and woke up in a stranger’s bed, danced on a table top or had a fling with a pop star.
(I did once spend an entirely platonic night with Leonard Cohen. But that’s another essay.)
By the time I hit my 30s, I’d gotten all of this out of my system. I got married, settled down, raised a kid, then got divorced. Now I work at my local public library. Mine is a quiet life. But, for me, it never gets dull.
I know three women who, now that their kids have grown, have cut loose and are seeing the world in style. Travel writers, they crisscross the globe having a fabulous time (often on somebody else’s dime) and blog about it. Suzanne Fluhr chronicles her world travels on Boomeresque. Lois Alter Mark blogs about transformative travel on Midlife at the Oasis. And Scuba diver Tam Warner Minton shares exciting underwater adventures on Travels with Tam, accompanied by amazing fish photos.
These women really know how to live! Hobnobbing with lions and rhinos on a South African game preserve! Going to Australia with Oprah! Cage diving with Great White Sharks!
I’m one of the thousands of armchair travelers who enjoy their blogs. And there’s always something fabulous to read. Right now? Suzanne is relaxing in Hawaii. Lois and her husband are savoring fine cuisine in Aix-en-Provence. And Tam is under the waves in Cozumel, photographing cool fish.
But would I want to live like my three favorite travel writers?
Not a chance. I prefer my quiet, humdrum life. My days aren’t exceptional. They’re entirely ordinary. I read. I write. I swim. I walk the dog. I share coffee with friends.
Dealing with obstreperous library patrons at the library where I work is as much adventure as I want.
I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful man in my life who also loves nothing better than to sit in front of the fire reading. Or visiting a bookstore. Or taking a stroll around my pleasant suburban neighborhood enjoying a chat and cracking each other up.
Friends often accuse me of being in a rut. “The whole world is out there!” they’ll say. “Get out and live a little.”
“It’s not a rut,” I correct them. “It’s a groove. And I love it.”
I think it’s great that so many of my peers in their 50s and 60s, are enjoying such exciting lives. “I can sleep when I’m dead,“ they proclaim. “In the meantime, I’m going to grab everything life has to offer.”
“You go, girl!“ I tell them. “See the world! Have amazing adventures! I look forward to sitting on my tushie in my easy chair and reading all about it.”
As for me? At 61, I’m old enough to recognize that a simple Ordinary Day can be bliss.
Roz Warren is the author of Our Bodies, Our Shelves: A Collection of Library Humor. This piece first appeared on www.zestnow.com.
Friday 22nd of July 2016
Love this!! And you are so right. A satisfying, adventure-filled, heart-pumping life can be anything we decide we want it to be. Each to his/her own, I say. Your groove sounds absolutely lovely. My life is a mix of that "groove" and a few other adventures here and there. And a few creative projects keep my heart and soul happy.
Keep on grooovin', girl!