Yesterday, I hit the speed limit. Literally or would it be figuratively? Either way, it’s double nickels for me. The emails have already caught up to me too; AARP, assisted living in my area, life insurance, you name it. Really? Because one has reached the ‘middle‘ of the life cycle, we’re suddenly considered ‘seniors’?? You’ve got to be kidding!! Just for the record, this is Not my speed limit; I have a ways to go before I reach it.
Being an only child and being the male my dad never had, he taught me a myriad of mechanical skills: driving a car at six, a clutch by ten, trucks, (and eventually one with eighteen gears which I drove across Oregon) tractors, Bobcats and boats of all sizes (including a large ship off the coast of California). All very useful abilities, especially being a girl.
Let me take you back to 1963; I was six years old. My parents and I were driving along Oregon I-84 along the Columbia Gorge on our way to eastern Washington. In those days the speed limit was a perfect 75. My dad put me on his lap so I could steer. We were in a 1963 Chrysler Saratoga 300. There were the push button gears on the left set up like a telephone; it was awesome. I could see the road between the round curve of the steering wheel and sometimes my eyes would peek over the edge. I was sitting on the seat between my dad’s legs. I eventually put my foot on the gas peddle so I could manage the speed. My mom fell asleep. My dad did too. Now here’s the visual. Two adults, their heads bobbing up and down as this speeding car bullets down the interstate. From another driver’s perspective, the car was driving itself as I was completely unobservable, virtually invisible. Of course in retrospect this is outrageous, however knowing myself like I do, I was completely capable and responsible. Sounds crazy I know, however it helps to understand my view on my personal speed limit. I learned how to do things some kids today never learn. My dad taught me a great deal about life, responsibility and thinking outside the box. He helped cultivate the rebel within as he is the ultimate ‘rebel’ himself, though he hates to admit it. He at 83 reminds me the personal speed limit is so much grander than our outward road marks remind us it is. It’s up to us, to go the long haul, with gusto and lack of fear.
In reaching this mid-road-life-sign, it actually pushes me to embrace life with added appreciation as it signals and signifies a richer understanding of what life truly means. It’s not about the amount of miles we have under our belt, rather the side roads we have taken, the beauty we have seen, the richness of relationships and the degree of aliveness we feel in our souls.
My speed limit is 75. And if I were to adhere to Montana’s code, it is what I feel to be prudent, so that ups the limit to 100 and above. Here’s to the open highway of life.
Cosmic sunshine to you.