Column: Fifty things she knows for sureDecember 9, 2013
By MARTHA RASCHE
On Saturday, I turned 50.
I spent the first six months of the year rather dreading the unavoidable milestone. My age would begin with a 5? It hardly seemed possible. Was it that long ago that I was growing up on a farm on the Jasper-Dubois Road? Was it that long ago that I graduated from Indiana University one month and left for the Peace Corps the next? Was it that long ago that I was a reporter for the South Bend Tribune?
I redid the math. More than once.
I am not a big fan of the phrase “It is what it is.” But in some cases there is no reason to search for a more literate response. When it comes to my age, it is what it is.
So I unfurrowed my brow and put my incomprehension aside and spent some time looking at the fast-approaching number in a more productive way. I wrote down on paper 50 things I know for sure or have learned over these 50 years.
Now I figure I might as well share them. None of us is getting any younger.
”¢ If you are lucky enough to have a child look up to you, you are lucky enough.
”¢ A new ink pen can make any day better.
”¢ You can never go wrong with a frozen margarita.
”¢ Always say thank you.
”¢ Everyone should have a vacation name.
”¢ I’ve often wondered what it must be like to be an only child — but I am glad to be one of nine.
”¢ A fresh haircut makes me happy.
”¢ It can be hard to know where to draw the line when it comes to medical care for a pet.
”¢ An 8-pound cat is plenty big to fill one’s heart.
”¢ The best part about a day off is knowing I can sleep in — even if I then get up at the usual time.
”¢ If you have the choice, ask for a room with a courtyard view.
”¢ Well-manicured lawns are clichÃ© for Jasper, but I do like the way my yard looks when freshly mowed.
”¢ A leisurely summer drive in the country eases my mind.
”¢ I studied Spanish in high school and German in college and haven’t been able to make up my mind since about where I should put my focus.
”¢ A month after I turned 22, I joined the Peace Corps and moved to Paraguay. Those two years spent in a foreign country so long ago taught me that I am likely to come out OK in any situation.
”¢ I like the sound of falling rain.
”¢ I always feel better after exercising.
”¢ There is satisfaction in volunteering.
”¢ Not many days go by that I don’t think about the fact that my father took his own life (17 years ago). That is one line of thought I wish I didn’t have to have.
”¢ After Christmas, snow gets old.
”¢ Reading transports and transforms.
”¢ As a writer, I am both amazed and grateful every time I am trusted to tell someone else’s story.
”¢ When it comes to crafting, you cannot have too much pretty paper.
”¢ I watch more reality TV than I ever should admit.
”¢ God works in mysterious ways.
”¢ As a child growing up on a farm, I thought the chores of digging potatoes, picking strawberries and hoeing anything would never end.
”¢ My level of resolve grows and wanes, but I am always trying to lose weight.
”¢ I don’t have children, but I am blessed to have a goddaughter.
”¢ In 2013, I helped an 87-year-old man who still runs marathons and goes to the office each day write his life story, an 89-year-old woman gave me harmonica lessons, and my mother, who continues to serve others in a multitude of ways, turned 87. The vivacity of these octogenarians inspires me.
”¢ Prayer helps.
”¢ Autumn’s crisp temperatures and vibrant colors never fail to invigorate me.
”¢ It is my specific intent to help create happy childhood memories for my siblings’ offspring. I know I am successful anytime I hear, “Aunt Marty is awesome.”
”¢ My life is a composite of all the ages I’ve ever been, and it is enriched by the friends I have from throughout the decades.
”¢ It is important to make time for the people who are important to you.
”¢ The meditative rhythm of kneading bread soothes me.
”¢ I smile when I think of the games of my youth: Red Rover, Andy Over, Mother May I, Hide and Seek, Rock School, Lemonade, Ghost in the Moonlight, Statue, Running Water Stilling Water, Simon Says.
”¢ When it comes to home decorating, I prefer an eclectic mix of furniture over matchy-match and color blocking over uniformity.
”¢ If I could give advice to my younger self, I’d suggest I be less intense.
”¢ Hope springs eternal.
”¢ The days I spent interviewing each of my parents at age 75 were days well spent.
”¢ I am not a pushover — really, I’m not — but timely, sincere compliments from my boss can fill the gaps not covered by my salary.
”¢ If ever there was a time when ice cream was not my favorite food, I don’t remember it.
”¢ My history of depression will not defeat me.
”¢ My Kindle is convenient, but I find a certain pleasure in reading stories on newsprint.
”¢ If I knew then what I know now I would have spent a lot less time grousing about things that ultimately I could not change.
”¢ No matter how different we are from each other, we are still more alike than different.
”¢ Give others the benefit of the doubt.
”¢ Oftentimes what is needed to reach resolution is for someone to make the first call. Make it already.
”¢ Everyone deserves a eulogy.
”¢ 50 doesn’t seem as old as it once did.
Martha Rasche, The Herald’s city editor, would love to know the life lessons on your list. Contact her at email@example.com.
More on DuboisCountyHerald.com
There’s one thing that always brings the Harts' family together — music. And on any given...
“The choices you make now will determine your future,” former NFL running back Tim Worley...
Instead of the sounds of basketballs dribbling or kids sprinting on the hardwood, the Cedar...