I had a Japanese penpal to tell me that he had finally reached his “second life.” I did not know what that meant, so he explained to me that when a person reaches 60 years old, he begins a new circle of life. Of course, I had to Google to learn more. The Japanese people use a lunar calendar and when you reach age 60, you have made a complete circle and have come back around to where you were born. This is called kanreki and is a very big celebration. Your achievements are celebrated and it is a time to reflect. A father will step down from his business and turn it over to his oldest son. My penpal said that now he has to decide what to do next. I can relate it to retirement.
I have not reached 60 years old yet, but I feel like I have reached second life. There have been big changes in my life in the past couple of years. My two kids are both grown and have moved away with their spouses, leaving me at home with an elderly, vomiting cat. I lost my sweet daddy last April and it has been the worst thing that has ever happened to me. So what do I do to begin my second life now?
I have taken a couple of painting classes and have started taking photographs of everything to post on Instagram. I volunteer at a local concert venue. My daughter insisted that I get a smart phone so I can check email and facebook. I still don’t understand all of the rules yet, but I am enjoying it. My daughter in law is going to bring me some soap nuts and teach me how to make my own chemical free shampoo. Maybe I can learn to make my own soap as well. I have wanted to write stories my whole life, so maybe I can become a blogger. I talked to a guy about learning how to grow my own garlic. I have never had a garden before but I can keep my houseplants alive. I kept a Poinsettia alive for 10 years and threw it out because it was the size of a small bush. Growing garlic might be a good place to start with gardening. Maybe I can take my garlic to the Farmer’s Market and be the garlic lady! I would prefer to be the garlic lady over the crazy cat woman. Instead of a bucket list, I want to work on my second life list.