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Hitting the brakes on planning, does it really end?

If you’re like me, you’ve spent your life planning.

As a kid, I used to think about what I wanted to be when I grew up. Where I would live, who I would marry and of course all of the money I would some how earn.

I’ll be 64 soon and at some point in the last few years I realized I was no longer young enough to plan for certain things in the future. Sure, some people manage to get the high school or college degree at 70, 80 or even 90, but I have those. I have no inclination at this time in my life for more schooling.

I’ve also come to realize that I’m doing the last full-time job I’ll have in my life — no more planning what I want to do when I grow up. Those years came and went. I am fortunate that I enjoy writing.

I still think about what kind of a house I would like to live in. The one I have was only supposed to be a temporary one, at least in my mind. In no way does it even closely resemble any of my dream homes.

My husband and I purchased it in the late 1990s. We bought it because it was close to the elementary school where our recently adopted daughter would go to school. We bought it because there were few choices on the market. And we decided on it because it was something we could afford at the time.

We planned on all sorts of improvements. The addition of a big front porch — that didn’t happen and I doubt if it does. We’d planned to remodel the kitchen and even discussed expanding it. That probably won’t happen either. Well we did get part way through remodeling the kitchen and had to stop.

We did add on and created what’s popularly known as the master suite. It’s a bedroom but it’s also become the main exit to the backyard. That means the two dogs and our grandson go in and out, in and out, leaving dog hair, chew bones, toys, clothing and shoes everywhere.

We’d also started on preparing a big wonderful backyard where we could hangout, enjoy flowers and outdoor occasions in the summer, enjoy our daughter and now our grandson all year round.

The patio I envisioned never really got built. It’s not too late to do that; it’s just finding the spare cash to have a site prepared. And then there’s all the expense and planning of what to use for building materials. I’ve always favored fieldstone, but there are other priorities. The money’s always needed for something else.

Those other priorities include having the house painted again, wondering when we will have to have another new roof, putting in a new driveway …

Oh, yes and having two large pine trees removed from the backyard. When we had the money we couldn’t find someone to do it. Now, our grandson’s needs have whittled down that source. The trees still stand. My husband still worries that they’ll come crashing down and probably not toward the watershed behind us. Trees seldom fall in a convenient spot.

I’ve gotten to travel quite a bit in my younger years. Beginning when I was 17 I got to go to England and Europe. At first the trips were every four years, then it was six years, and now I haven’t been since my husband and I went for our honeymoon in 1997. I didn’t plan on that.

I thought for a while that I would be able to save up and take my grandson to see castles when he was about 12 — that’s a little more than six years away. But unless another great aunt leaves me money (that’s how we managed to add the master suite), that’s not going to happen.

Most of my family lives a long time, so I plan to be around for a good number of years yet, so I haven’t quit planning altogether.

Retirement’s a few years away so I plan to work until I’m 70. They say that 40 is the new 30. Does that mean that 70 is the new 60? I hope so. I’m going to need all of the energy I can find for the upcoming years because I do plan to see my grandson through grade school, high school and at least into college. I plan to be around to watch and listen as he makes his plans for his life.

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