I was feeling an achievement gap so I polished my shoes.

This happens to me a lot – feeling an achievement gap. It’s usually part of a new season or the drive to or from vacation.I am filled with hope and inadequacy at the same time. It’s a curious little cocktail, like fruit punch with a tequila worm.

I love ambition. I think ambition is a drug, a hallucinogen. And it’s been my little secret mushroom for a very long time. Having ambition, let’s be clear, not always realizing that ambition. It’s the start-up that is narcotic.

It gets harder, though, as a person gets older to craft appropriate ambitions. There is the pesky matter of time and the temptations offered by the ever-lowering expectations of the world. To be both a woman and old is to hear applause for proper attire. That, itself, can become addictive. Small but sort of sweet.

So what is gradually replacing ambition in my head is achievement. How can I rack up more achievements in the time I have left?

I have felt in the doldrums, like an old lady in a straw hat in the middle of a big lake sitting in a rowboat with no oars. It’s nice out there, don’t get me wrong. The wind blows and little waves lap at the boat’s old wooden sides. I rock. It’s lovely. A person could die out here in this fine boat and never struggle.

So I am making a list.

First on the list is finding my oars.