My friends, I have finally finished my sojourn visiting my three children before hanging my South Beach hat at the end of the New Jersey chapter in my life.
Driving from coastal New Jersey to Chicago, then to Lexington and finally Nashville where my car will rest for awhile has been a slow easing from, and closing of a life that was. Letting go and looking forward to reinventing myself from a ‘snow bird’ to a ‘homesteader’ will be an interesting challenge for this nomad.
Each of us, if we are lucky to live long enough, will experience many changes and challenges in our lives and who we are. Going through old photographs in New Jersey while cleaning up I found pictures of this somewhat attractive young woman and I looked at her and her life as though she was someone else. A stranger. Who is this woman? The connection to my old self and what I see when I look in the mirror now is very difficult to absorb. Oh, how I wish we could attain the rich knowledge of living while still keeping our young shell. All right. It’s not going to happen in my lifetime, but it doesn’t keep me from wishing it so.
If there would be such a thing as a Time Machine and I could go back and revisit the various chapters in my life I’m really not too sure if I would change anything because youth didn’t equip me with the knowledge that I have now. I probably would’ve made the same mistakes and bypassed the same opportunities that came my way, because I was young and didn’t have the wisdom and the knowledge that living life has afforded me. What is it they say, ‘youth is wasted on the young’. Unfortunately, few of us understand the meaning of that until we are well beyond our prime.
So, I will march forward, with this new unencumbered future of mine, free to create in all the genetic genres I was given. So what if my hair is not as ‘lionlike’ as it used to be and the veins pop out in my freckled hands a little more than I’d like and the millennials zip by me in their running shoes as this senior patiently waits for Sofi to find the ever illusive right spot do her business. Everyday I wake up grateful that this old brain is still filled with words and the ability to share a treasure trove of thoughts about living the best of life the other side of fifty.
Once we learn to be our own best friend it’s a smooth cruise into the sunset.
©Copyright Sandra Hart 2016. All Rights Reserved
4 thoughts on “My South Beach Hat”
Are you really leaving New Jersey for good/
Yes, Sally. After 44 years in the same house and with friends and family relocated elsewhere, it was time to move on. I doubt if I ever will be back. Trips to visit the children in their locations-Chicago, Lexington and Nashville-will be my trips during the hot Florida summers. We still have the New York apartment that I probably will stay in during the fall before we return to Florida, but Florida will be my main residence.
Sandra, thank you once again for your eloquence in sharing your story. I didn’t know that this was in your plans and am happy for you in your decision. You remain one of the most beautiful women I know – both inside and out, Sandra, and I love your ending comment, “Once we learn to be our own best friend, it’s a smooth cruise into the sunset.” Beautiful, and truthful. You have always been a women for whom I have great respect and adoration. I do hope our paths cross again in this lifetime, Sandra, just to reconnect for a moment.
Corrine, I thank you! Your friendship, though our time together was brief, means so much to me. Traveling with you at sea and enjoying your communications throughout these years has meant so much to me. You truly are in my ‘bag of marbles’, those special people for whom I have a special feeling even though we are miles apart. I am so grateful that you are a part of my life and I, too, hope we will meet again. It would be wonderful for me, I know. Warm wishes and much love your way, Sandra