Chick Wit: Milestone or Millstone?
By the time you read this, I will have turned 60, and my birthday will have passed.
I can't say I'm delighted about this birthday. It's not that I hate aging, it's that I hate dying.
This feeling caught me by surprise. Generally I love my birthday because it always involves chocolate cake.
But now I'm wondering if the cake is compensation for my death, in which case, we need to do better.
Oddly, I didn't realize I was having negative feelings until I got the idea to renovate my kitchen.
Let me explain.
You may remember that a few years ago I planted a perennial garden, which is somehow survived all of the beginner mistakes I made. For example, first I watered it too little, then I watered it too much, so much in fact that I broke an underground water pipe.
Backhoes were called. It adds a whole new dimension to gardening when you bring in the heavy equipment.
Not to mention expense. I don't want to think about how much that garden cost. After I soaked the flowers, they soaked me.
But the thing is that the garden is now going gangbusters, though most of its weeds, but that is neither here nor there.
The point is, I like to look at the garden, but there's no window that looks out onto the garden from my kitchen. The only windows that overlook the garden are on either side of the oven. If I want to look at flowers, but I'm looking at stainless steel.
So lately I found myself wishing that I could replace the oven with a window or maybe even a door, then I could not only see the garden all the time, but go out into it. And maybe if I put a little flagstone patio there, I could have a cup of coffee and maybe write outside, in my garden.
Plus the garden colors are so gorgeous, with pink primrose, yellow coreopsis, and purple delphinium. And stainless steel is, well, gray.
Like my roots.
I investigated the cost of renovating the kitchen, and while it wasn't massive, it was a chunk of change that left me wondering, can you spend that money on a kitchen, when you're turning 60?
Shouldn't I be saving it for retirement?
Or at the very least, a walker?
Do people my age renovate their houses? Will we live long enough to see the renovation? Are we still even buying green bananas anymore?
And I'm just one person, so shouldn’t I be thinking about downsizing rather than upsizing?
Unfortunately, the only way my sizes ever seem to go is up.
Not only that, but I started to wonder if I should just be happy with what I have. I already love my house. I've painted it red, orange, yellow, green and blue. You see I have a thing for color. It's like living in a paintball war.
Plus I just added a sunroom that I love and use as an office. I renovated the sunroom in my 50s, but is 60 the cut-off?
It made me think of the larger question which is if renovation is growing, and do we ever stop growing? Does the garden? Or the weeds?
Writing a book is the same way. You can always edit it to make it more like what you wanted to be, or what you have in mind, it’s best version of itself.
So you see where this is going, and now I do too.
If a book and a garden can always be improved, then so can the kitchen.
And so can I.
No matter how old I am, I'm going to keep trying to grow and improve, into some final edited version of myself, full of color and fun, until I have to type The End.
I want to be a page-turner of a person.
Or a garden so great that you can ignore the weeds.
And then I can die.
So I just decided I'm giving myself a kitchen renovation as a gift for my 60th birthday.
I want to be closer to my daisies.
Until I'm pushing them up.
© Lisa Scottoline 2015