I will try to put these in chronological order, but we're talking about 12 years here, so a little forgiveness of timeline mistakes may be necessary.
#3) I had to get my GED, because the University of Saint Francis
wouldn't accept my 'correspondence course diploma' (see #4)
#4) I applied for college entrance. I received scholarships because I was: a) female b)single c) old..(55) and d) scored high on entrance exams and my GED. I enjoyed college and discovering I had retained most of my brain cells. I made the dean's list which was kind of exciting.
#5) In 2002, I became an orphan. My mother had died 9 years earlier, and when my father died after several years of Alzheimer's, it struck me how in a moment, I had become the 'elder' generation.
Did you know you can be 61 and still get a 30-year mortgage? Like I'm going to live to be 91..maybe.
#13) I decided to officially retire and collect SS 2 years early. In retrospect, not a smart thing to do.
#14) I had knee replacement surgery. That's not on most bucket lists either, but it is if you need it. I love my new knee. I would do it again tomorrow if I needed it.
#15) I watched 3 of my very good friends, my age and younger, die of cancer. It makes a person appreciate a lot of things.
#16) Two of my teenage grandchildren moved in with me and Kalisha. That might actually be on a bucket list if you didn't have to ride with them while they learn to drive and get their licenses. I will say my perspective has changed since I taught MY kids how to drive. Then, it was, "Watch the car. Don't get too close and wreck the car." Now it was, " Cars can be replaced. Just try not to kill us both, okay?" And you wonder why I have gray hair.
#17) I made the decision to be a full-time writer. I believe that is what God wanted me to do. That decision came with a high price tag. No money, literally, very little. Absolutely nothing extra. No Friday night pizza, no vacations, no driving too far because of gas prices, etc. etc. With 4 of us living here, I did something else I had never done in my lifetime. I..
#18) applied for food stamps and for a while, I stood in line at a food distribution center. Probably the most humbling experience of my life.
Through all of these things I have done, or endured, or survived, since I became 55 years old, I have learned to rely on God for every thing, every day; to follow His leading in spite of everything, to appreciate other people and to be less judgmental of others' circumstances and to realize..Life Goes On, even with major changes, loss of loved ones and loss of material things. I have mellowed and kept my sense of humor for the most part.
One more thing..I signed up at an online dating site. What a hilarious thing, but I will write about that another time.