The other day I was riding up a chairlift at Alta with a couple of guys who were having a discussion about life. It is very cliché to say that the discussion was about living life to the fullest or living for the moment, but that was pretty much the jist of the discussion. What struck me as interesting was the angle that they were looking at it from, not just live life to the fullest, more like live fore the here and now. They talked about how so many people live life waiting for retirement. Planning to do all the things that they wanted to do as soon as they retire. I never really thought about it, but it does seem like there are many people who do have a similar mentality.
The point that the guy was trying to make was that there is little point int waiting until you retire to start doing the things that you want to do. Sure, there may be obstacles in the way like work and family, but should you really put off doing the things that you want to do. You may have less holding you back when you retire, but do we really need to let these things hold us back in general? Do they actually hold us back at all?
I come from a family where we pretty much just do the things that we want to do. My mother has done some very interesting adventures including a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. She also has a trip to somewhere in Africa planned in the coming months. We have done various river rafting trips including a “Dad’s and Kids” trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. I get to do a whole bunch of skiing, and hopefully now that I am a certified SCUBA diver I will be able to work in some dive trips.
I am certainly not rolling in money, but I try to find the means to do the things that I want to do. Sometimes that may just be getting tickets for me and Ruth to go to show and sometimes it is taking SCUBA classes so that I can go dive with her. Sometimes it is doing things just for me, and sometimes it is doing things together. It isn’t always easy to find the time and the means to go do everything when we want to do it, but we certainly try. I don’t want to wait until I am 65 to start doing things that I want to do.
What would we really be if we waited to do the things that we want to do? Can you even do everything you want to after you are 65?
I am sure that there are things that I would like to do that would be good things to do after I retire, like sitting on the beach in Hawaii. I am sure that there are also things that I would like to do that I won’t get to, or that when I actually get around to them will seem less interesting or exciting. I mean, we can’t do everything can we? The best we can do is start now, and just keep trying.
I look at people like Jessica Watson and Abby Sunderland who are both sixteen-year-old young women trying to sail solo around the world. They each had a dream to make the voyage and they both have found the means to do it. Personally I don’t know why one would want to, it seems like it would be a little more fun to sail around the world with friends rather than solo, but it is something they wanted to do, and they are doing it, that is what counts. I have friends and family who have climbed some of the worlds tallest mountains or have visited places in the world that they find interesting.
I have read plenty of bloggers who have their “bucket lists,” and it is good to see that people are actually checking items off. Sometimes I find some line items on such lists to be a little more trivial than adventurous, but to each his own. I think the important thing to remember is that we live on borrowed time, at some point we have to give it back (though that point gets farther and farther away with all the scientific advances we are making). So when it comes time to give back your time, how will you have used it? Is it worth waiting for the last quarter or 2/5 of your life to start making the most of it?