Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fourth Quarter

Last weekend talking to old friends, I mentioned that I consider my move from NYC "the beginning of my fourth quarter." The term sounds either athletic or fiscal but it makes sense in terms of my life although the quarters were not of equal length. Of course, I have no idea how long the fourth quarter will last. Definitely, however it feels an appropriate way to think of my life.

The previous quarters are easily define: born, raised, educated in Indiana is number one. Married, raising kids, living an actively involved suburban life mostly in upstate New York is the second. Living alone in NYC, writing plays and working a "day job" to pay the rent, is the third. And now being on Cape Cod, retired is the fourth. The first two were about the same length, the third somewhat longer. This one will be satisfactory if it is as long as the third but of course the aging process has become an unpredictable factor.

Mine is not a particularly typical outline for a woman's life; but I think it is not especially unusual today and may be more usual all the time. Thinking of it this way gives me a sense of balance and also a feeling of challenge to make this part as interesting as the previous ones. Interesting does not necessarily mean as physically active, and I assume my current level of physical activity will slowly slow [if that sentence construction makes sense]. I am very happy I was able to do a couple of challenging treks in the Himalayas in the third quarter; that is beyond me now but other traveling is likely to be more limited by finances than my physical ability -- at least for some years to come.

At this early stage in the fourth quarter, I am happy about how it's shaping up. I have a lot of learnings under my hat that give me confidence and satisfaction. To answer Mary Oliver in her poem "A Summer's Day" which I read to my writing class yesterday -- her finally question, "Tell me what will you do with your one wild and precious life?" I will consider it precious and I will be as wild as I can manage.


Kass said...

I like this idea of the Fourth Quarter. There's no denying it, I'm in it. I need to be more conscious of what I'm doing, like you are. Good reminder. Thanks.

standing on my head said...

that last question, what will i do with my one wild and precious life, will stay with me, daily, for the rest of my wild and precious life.
thank you.