It’s easy to lose myself in the past these days. The comments from friends on this site and the postings on the other site— the one crazy Joe Alexander and his crew created for me (http://wealllovemike.martinagency.com/)–give me so many memories of great times with great people. I’m a little embarrassed about how much time I spend every day re-reading these things. I’m grateful all over again for all that I’ve been given over the past 64 years— family, friends, experiences, opportunities, all of it. The past is well taken care of these days— but it’s never been where I’ve wanted to spend my time.
What’s weird right now is coming to grips with how to— or even whether to–think about the future. I’ve always fallen in love with ideas— whether mine or someone else’s. To make it worse, I’m a complete failure at prioritizing: I’ve always had way too many balls in the air, too many projects that were special to me. And I never give up on any of my projects. (They tease me at work because I’m still trying to sell in creative ideas we developed for clients who are no longer our clients. Harry Jacobs once said I was still trying to rewrite ads that appeared in last week’s newspaper.)
I’m not particularly successful at bringing ideas to life, but nothing excites me more than the challenge of moving a project forward. Something strikes me as a good idea and I want to breathe life into it tomorrow. But what do I do now that tomorrow is so much less certain? As much as I’ve liked shedding the tyranny of to do lists, I miss the ability to make plans. The big Christmas gift I gave my family this year was “ten days anywhere in the world this summer.” If it weren’t for my diagnosis, we’d be debating where we’d be going right about now. I hope they make the trip even though I won’t be joining them. But I suspect it would be hard for them to plan it now.
At first, Ginny and I couldn’t talk about the future— her future–without biting back tears. Still it’s important to me to know that she has things to look forward to. I want her to have plans that excite her. I’m not panicked about this. Ginny is good at taking care of herself. She has wonderful friends. She doesn’t need the reassurances: I do. (We always knew that even though Ginny’s a few years older than me, I had to be the one to go first. I would be totally helpless on my own. In fact, if I’d never married, I’d still be living with flattened beanbag chairs and a lava lamp.)
Now Ginny is making exciting plans. If everything works out, we’re going to sell our beach house and she’s going to live roughly half the time in a place near Carley and Jason in Beacon. We’ve loved the New York + Richmond dual life we’ve been living. This will make spending time with The Beacon Hugheses even easier and more inviting.
Now that I think about it, the future doesn’t seem so bad.