Facing the Future and Enjoying the Passage of Time

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

Any fool can do it
There ain’t nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since we’re on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride¹

As we get older, time seems to pass so much more quickly. The future even feels smaller, and we tend to dwell on the past. In the past we have comforting memories, and little tricks of the mind even tend to customize them a bit as we go along.

MOYMAG_1 (2)moymomuna

Enjoying the passage of time – Me, my mother, and my sister around 1960, and then again, just a few years ago.

For me, the past means my childhood and family, and my parents, now gone. Even my children’s childhoods are in the past. The present means my beloved husband, visits with our family, and coming change.

The future… well the future is a bit uncertain and scary. Happily, it involves our children and grandchildren, but there is also the spectre of our own future needs and activities as my beloved gets ready for retirement and we make financial and physical adjustments.

Some aspects of our retirement years are wonderful, and others are a bit daunting. I know how hard it is to think about planning for the latter stages of our lives. Nothing has made this clearer to me than the deafening silence on my recent series of posts and “Future Challenges” encouraging readers to think about financial and health care proxies.

Now the thing about time is that time
Isn’t really real
It’s just your point of view
How does it feel for you
Einstein said he could never understand it all
Planets spinning through space
The smile upon your face
Welcome to the human race¹

As with most things, perspective is everything. We can’t change the passage of time, but we can learn to enjoy each part of our lives, and with a little planning, hopefully we can make the scary parts less scary.

That frees us up to enjoy the good stuff, like travel and grandkids. After all, that’s what we really want the future to be about!

Lakepaddle  100_8109 (2)

Now the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time¹

___________________________________________________

¹from James Taylor’s song Secret o’ Life. Video courtesy of YouTube.

This post is in response to two weekly blog challenges:

  • The WordPress Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge on the topic of Future Tense.
  • The weekly Travel Theme challenge by Ailsa of WheresMyBackpack, on the subject of Time.  

To see other bloggers’ responses and get more info on these challenges, click on the links above.

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This entry was posted in Photo Challenges, Retirement itself, Ruminations and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Facing the Future and Enjoying the Passage of Time

  1. Angelia Sims says:

    Enjoyment is the key! Love the old photo and new. That is too neat!

    Like

  2. Madhu says:

    Great message TRS. I certainly am enjoying the passage of time 🙂

    Like

  3. frizztext says:

    “The secret of life
    is enjoying the passage of time…”
    – good statement!

    Like

  4. OK, let me break the silence. 🙂 I read ever one of your future challenges and they always make me contemplate the future. For me, the problem is time. (and a painfully slow internet) Right now, I’m planning for my mother’s future. We’ve moved her around so many times, her head must be spinning. But, she’s happily settled in my brother’s home. My brother describes her as happy, yet confused. One financial thing my brother and I have established for my mother is a family trust. I can’t stress the importance of establishing a family trust. My mother’s income is too great for her to qualify for medicaid. Anticipating long-term care ( my grandmother lived to be 100, and she spent the last 15 years of her life in skilled nursing care), we see this as part of my mother’s future. So, we hired a lawyer and drew up a trust for my mother. The only thing in her bank acct. is her SS, pension, and IRAs. Everything else ( mutual funds, bonds, deed to her house, and other monetary assets are in a trust). There is a 5 year look back period, so we need to liquidate her IRAs within 5 years, so that the only money she has left is her SS and pension. If we can avoid skilled nursing care for 5 years, then she will qualify for medicaid. They can look in her trust, but the money can’t be counted as income for skilled nursing care. My brother and I are co-executors of the trust. If my mother needs any money, we can write her a check from the trust, but she can’t take any money out of it herself. After 5 years, if ( I should say “when”) she needs expensive skilled nursing care, then medicaid will cover the expenses. We can supplement her care with the money from the trust, but the skilled nursing facility cannot consider it as part of her income. I wish we would have initiated the trust earlier. We’re hoping that we have time to provide for her needs for 5 years..but that’s the chance that we take. If she needs more intensive care before 5 years, we have to use her trust money. She could be bankrupt quickly with the cost of skilled nursing homes today. As soon as we get all my mother’s ducks in order, we’re going to make a family trust for us, too. If you want to save something for your children’s future, and qualify for medicaid, this is the way to go..in my humble opinion.

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    • Wow – that’s a lot of great advice!
      My comment about the silence was honestly to make the point that these are difficult subjects, but you and your brother are facing them head on, and it sounds like you’ve got a great plan in place. Your mother is lucky to have the two of you, working together, to see to her care. I also think it’s wonderful that you’re being pro-active about your own assets. Planning and peace of mind all the way around. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your family’s plan.

      Like

  5. Don’t feel put off by the deafening silence. Everyone has their own way of dealing. I, myself, am doing this blogging for the writing, photography, fun and, yes, a little escape. That’s what i’m looking for. You decided to change your focus. That’s ok. You just have to find the proper audience. Thanks for the posts and the song 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks for the input, Gemma – good advice. Practical planning was part of my “all aspets of retrement” focus all along, but it will never be everything, so the challenges have been sort of an experiment. I plan to do a few more of them, but I will keep doing my other posts as well! I appreciate your feedback more than you know!

      Like

  6. Excellent response to both challenges, I enjoyed reading this.

    Like

  7. Pingback: Future Tense | Rebecca Barray

  8. thirdeyemom says:

    Wonderful post and entry! 🙂

    Like

  9. puglife says:

    Great song choice to go with the theme!

    Like

  10. adinparadise says:

    I’m really enjoying the passage of time in my 60’s. Life is good. Love that James Taylor song.

    Like

  11. I’m so with you on enjoying the passage of time – but also that the future is scary when one has hit the 60s and more! I have my drawer marked ‘Afterwards’ which has poems and family history and stuff for our funerals….
    I’ll go back and look at your other posts soon 🙂

    Like

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