A few weeks ago, Paddy Maloney, one of the founding members of the musical group, The Chieftains, was on the CBS news show, Sunday Morning. The interviewer, half in jest, asked the seventy-three year old what he wanted to do in his next twenty-five years. But Paddy’s answer, given in that melodic lilt only the Irish can pull off, was serious.
“I’ve got lots to do if the Lard’ll spare me.”
I don’t know when I started counting down the days until my indubitable demise. I think I was in my mid forties. Until then, I was too busy with babies and marriage and putting food on the table to think about what I wanted to do with my own life apart from family. When I was forty-five, I remember thinking I was just fifteen years away from thirty, which wasn’t so bad, was it? Then I realized I was also a mere fifteen years away from sixty, which horrified me
Now at sixty-two, I wonder how many good years I have left. Like Paddy, I’ve lots still to do and so little time left to do it. I didn't know there was such a thing as a mid-late-life crisis, but I'm there. Do I keep working until I stroke out at my desk trying to save for the rainy day I may not live long enough to see, or do I commit to that dogged yet somewhat debilitated leap of faith to see where life takes me next? The older I get, the more careful I become, less amenable to taking a risk as my heart is willing but I don't quite trust the less-malleable brain or the abused body.
And what if I really don't have anything else to offer once my paycheck days are over? What if I'm relegated to what I once was without any opportunity to see what I still can be?
I guess if Paddy can still dream at seventy-three, I too can garner the courage to scan my horizon for an interesting and worthwhile future.
That's if the Lard'll spare me.