“SOMEDAY” IS TODAY with Sunny Lockwood

“Someday” begins with a day just like today.

No one knows this better than Sunny Lockwood. This morning I”m happy to introduce you to Sunny  in The Voices of Wisdom series. Sunny reached out to me and said she thought Aging Abundantly readers might be interested in her story. I agreed! I hope it is as much of an inspiration to you as is was to me. There is no time like the present to live the life we’ve always dreamed of living. It can begin today. After all someday is just a day like today.

Al & Sunny Lockwood

Al & Sunny Lockwood

 

My husband and I have always been sort of workaholics. Like others with fulfilling lives, we dreamed of things we’d like to do someday (perhaps when we were older and life had slowed down a little).However, on a Sunday evening in July in 2012, as we waited at a red light, our life changed dramatically.

It was a perfect evening. The blue sky held a golden sunset glow. We’d been to the beach earlier and the pounding surf still filled our heads as we waited for the light to change.

Suddenly,  a texting driver slammed full speed (60 mph) into us, totaling both cars in an explosion of glass and metal. I’ll never forget the grinding, screaming metal as her SUV tore through the back end and then the side of our Toyota Carolla. Although seatbelted, we were tossed about as our car crumpled.

Both vehicles were totaled. Fortunately, we suffered no broken bones. But we were bruised and banged up, and our summer was ruined as our days filled with doctor appointments, wrangling with insurance companies and trying to find a replacement car.

We ached for weeks.

I complained loudly about drivers who fool with their phones, wishing I could get them all arrested and thrown in jail.

But my ranting gave way to the awareness of how lucky we were to be alive.

If we had not been wearing seat belts. If our airbags had not inflated.  So many ifs. Yet, here we were. Alive.

The realization that life is fragile and brief changed our lives. It woke us up.

We realized anew how all the little gifts we take for granted — the sweet fragrance of roses or lilacs, the welcome chill of ice cream on a hot day, the comfort of prayer, the pleasure of a kitten’s purring, the delicious smell of newly cut grass or fresh-brewed coffee — all these everyday blessings can be snatched away in a moment.

You can be doing nothing more risky than sitting at a red light, and the next moment you could be hooked up to monitors in a hospital, or lying cold in a morgue.

Everyone knows the truth that life is temporary. But until we take that truth seriously it’s just a distant theory as we rush through our busy days.

Al and I suddenly took that truth to heart. As we focused on how lucky we were that the wreck didn’t kill us,  we decided to start doing some of the things we’d dreamed of doing. It’s not like we had great life goals we’d been putting off. But we both enjoy travel, love seeing what’s over the next hill or around the next curve in the road.  We’d camped up and down the west coast.

And for years we’d toyed with the idea of taking longer trips, perhaps a cruise to somewhere interesting. But we’d talked about such travel in a dreamy, someday sort of way.

Now, feeling grateful to be alive and whole, we decided to actually take part in that “someday” travel.

First on the bucket list was a cruise through the Panama Canal. Al is a retired engineer, and he’d dreamed of going through the canal (one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century) since he was a child.

Online research revealed a 17-day cruise through the canal that we could afford and we signed up. The trip from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale was fantastic.

Traversing the famous canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic in the same way ships have been traversing since 1904 was a thrill beyond compare.  The trip was so amazing that we actually wrote a book about it: Cruising Panama’s Canal, savoring 5,000 nautical miles and 500,000 decadent calories.

So what began as a dream come true trip, grew into a writing/publishing venture.Today is Someday

Cruising Panama’s Canal was named an Amazon #1 best seller in 2014 and continues to sell in both paperback and ebook formats at Amazon.com

Since that first cruise, we’ve taken other wonderful trips and have written three more travel memoirs.

One of our books, Cruising the Mediterranean, was named an Amazon best seller in two categories: Senior Travel and Venice Guidebooks and Travelogues.

Readers from around the world have written that they love our books. We’ve been asked to talk about our travels at retirement communities, senior centers, book stores and service clubs.

Making our travel dreams come true has been fascinating and fulfilling. It has led to new endeavors — writing our travel memoirs, speaking about our travels. And our adventure continues as we schedule more trips and write about them.

We write to encourage others. Everyone carries dreams within their hearts. The dreams may be small or large, but often they remain Someday is Todaylodged inside. Al and I want to encourage readers to grasp those dreams and make them come true.

Whether it’s earning a college degree, or traveling to a far away place, we encourage you to do it. Do it now, while you can. Tomorrow is not promised.

Believe me when I say that making a dream come true is deeply rewarding. How satisfying it is to achieve something you’ve always dreamed about. That accomplishment comes with enriching memories and stories to share. And you can never tell where your dream will take you.

Ours has taken us on cruises and tours, to book stores, libraries and travel clubs. It has enlarged and enriched our life as we’ve shared our travels through our books and presentations.

Who knows where you’re dream will take you?

A few photos from our trips:

Someday is Today

Venice’s Grand Canal was a busy and beautiful highway.

Someday is Today

he Parthenon in Athens, Greece, was spectacular.

Today is Someday

We stayed in a small hotel close to the Rialto Bridge.

Someday is Today

One of the many stunning sights in Istanbul.

 

SUNNY LOCKWOOD has been a newspaper editor, magazine editor, daily newspaper reporter and newspaper columnist. She holds degrees from San Jose State University and Santa Clara University.

AL LOCKWOOD is a retired electrical/mechanical engineer. He is a fine art film photographer, a ham radio operator and an enthusiastic traveler. The sweet photograph of Sunny & Al, at the top of the page, was taken in an Athens coffee shop in 2014. Al and Sunny had ducked inside to escape a sudden downpour.

Visit Sunny’s website 

Connect with her on Facebook.


MORE VOICES OF WISDOM

 

 

About Dorothy Sander

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15 Responses to “SOMEDAY” IS TODAY with Sunny Lockwood

  1. Lovely reflection. The photos made me think of European trips my husband and I have made. Thank you, Sunny and Dorothy.

    I look forward to completing my memoir and publishing it with the help of artist/spouse who knows how to use InDesign and has published a children’s book.

    • Helps to have an assistant, doesn’t it, Marian! Can’t wait to read your book!

    • sunny lockwood says:

      Hi, Marian, so glad you appreciated my piece. You point out another benefit of traveling — having memories to cherish and share. And I’m glad to know you’re working on a memoir of your own. That’s a huge undertaking. But very rewarding to complete.
      sunny

  2. A great example of following your dreams!! I love that you turned your trips into books. I did something similar with my Amanda Travels series. I took my travels and turned them into adventure stories for kids. Now I have 5 books published and we are living in Spain! I need to find more dreams. Do you have any more books on the go?

    • Impressive, Darlene! Sounds like you went after your dreams, big time! Let me know if you want to tell your story in this series. Sounds intriguing!

    • sunny lockwood says:

      Hi, Darlene. Great to hear about your travel books for kids. Congratulations to you and your readers.
      Yes, we have a new book launching next week (Oct. 12). It’s called “Cruising the Atlantic, Our Epic Journey from Barcelona to Miami.”
      It is up for pre-order at amazon right now. Thanks for asking. We’re hoping people will find it informative and entertaining.
      Thanks again, Darlene. And have a great week.

  3. sunny lockwood says:

    Thank you, Dorothy, for the opportunity to share our story with others in our age group. Love your website. Hopefully your readers will be inspired by our story and will take steps to make a dream or two of their own come true.

  4. dgkaye says:

    What a story! Thank goodness Al and Sunny survived. These texting drivers just won’t learn until something happens to them. Besides fatalities they are causing huge traffic congestion holding up lines of cars when the lights turn green and they forget they’re driving.
    I’m glad Al and Sunny learned to make lemonade from their lemons. Sometimes life has to smack us to remind to live it. 🙂

    • sunny lockwood says:

      You are SO right, dgkaye. I often tell Al that the local sheriff should deputize me so that I could give out tickets to all the drivers talking on or texting on or looking at their phones rather than paying attention to what they’re doing with their car. It’s SO maddening!
      Glad you liked our travel story. As we grow older, it is important to do new and enriching things. And travel is a wonderful way to stay engaged with our world. Don’t forget to make your travel dreams come true as the years go by.

      • Sunny, my husband and I talked about traveling over the years. It’s something we both love to do, and we like doing it on the ground! Always have! Nothing more fun than packing a picnic lunch and going on the road. However, like you and your husband, we had a serious car accident almost 7 years ago. I had a TMI, surgery on my writing hand, and developed a life altering case of PTSD. I did not leave the house for a year and rarely moved from the chair I sat in when I was awake. Once I began to realize that “something” was wrong I sought help and began to do the work necessary to heal the PTSD. I was terrified that our desire to travel would be taken from us by the relentless fear that had overtaken me. I was wrong. A year ago, I was ready to try a long trip and we traveled from NC to Colorado and the trip and the journey itself helped me heal. I have to pace myself still, pay attention to stress signals, etc., but we are gathering steam to go on the road again. My sons live 1,000 miles away, so that’s a whole lot of incentive! Thanks for sharing your story. I appreciate your enthusiasm!

        • sunny lockwood says:

          Sorry to hear about your terrible car accident and how it left you in a state of shock for months. I still have a tiny bit of what might be called PTSD when I’m in the passenger seat. Because my side of the car was the most demolished in our wreck, I can get very nervous in the passenger seat. So, now I do most of the driving and am fine. Al does the navigating.
          But I’m glad that you are pacing yourself as you take your various road trips. All the studies I’ve read (and there are many) show that travel is good for our bodies and brains. Al and I think it’s also good for our hearts and souls. As you mentioned, pacing ourselves is one of the strategies to keep travel possible as we age. And also to keep travel fun. I’m glad to hear that you’ll be going to Colorado … be sure to make lots of stops along the way to see new things, try new foods, say “hi” to the people that make up this beautiful country of ours.

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