In my work, I've always been a rather dogged (and annoying to some) "finisher". I've been known to nag colleagues, bosses and clients with no mercy when I sense they are procrastinating on a project. Yes, time does actually seem to go quicker as we age. My blog, my bathroom and my three book club selections are all languishing unfinished, along with healthcare related projects, my real estate investment goals, my desire to get more exercise and be more spiritually connected and a plethora of other challenges.
I could attribute this lack of focus to my Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder, which is way more than a LOL meme on social media. This is sadly familiar...and as my stamina declines with age, I feel like I get a lot less done in a day.
In my 40+ years of doing administrative work, with its constant interruptions and shifting priorities, multitasking is just the way my brain works. Even in my younger days, I was often guilty of not finishing books I started reading, and giving up on school, jobs and relationships that I deemed not a good fit. In more recent years, computers, the Internet and our smart devices have shortened my already short attention span. Being an experienced administrator and coordinator, I am way more organized than most people and I have halfway decent time management skills. But I am also guilty of many bad habits such as jumping up to get tea or run a load of laundry in real life. Even more insidious and seductive are online distractions and mea culpa big time. Living alone and having no family, my social network is important to me for connection, information, inspiration and humor.
A dear friend who has been caring for her husband with advancing Parkinson's just let me know that they are looking into hospice care. He's a retired Madison Avenue art director for an advertising agency. The walls of their living room are filled with his modernistic acrylic paintings inspired by their trips to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Photos on their bookshelves show him with celebrities he met in his working years. He was blessed to discover his talents and his path early on - he went to a music and arts high school and flourished in his career and in his life.
Facing the end of one's life casts a whole new shadow on things unfinished. This lovely man is only 80, still young in today's world. All the little tasks and projects on my to-do list - getting estimates for paint and floor covering, working on my writing, exploring alternative health practices as possible pain relief solutions - all pale in comparison to the bigger questions about a life well lived. If we only knew how long we'd live, we'd be better able to plan. Brings to mind the quote, "You hear God laughing when you tell Her your plans."