No More Mountains To Cross

Sitting on the porch and whiling away the day.  Not a whole lot on my plate to do, and for some, that would be heaven and for others (such as myself) it would be the bane of their existence.  We are by nature, creatures that demand issues that occupy our time and our days, and when we do not find them, we become as my wife says … Cranky.

Such is my plight this day.

At a certain point in time, I suppose you just run out of life choices.  There is this mythical point in time, not always easily discernible, where day-to-day life perceptibly slows down, if not, stops all together.  As you age things change.  Your days are now well defined, pretty regular and not all that extraordinary in nature.  You seem to be as the old folks are fond of saying “set in your ways” and there is no adventure left in your life.

Along with no adventure, there are few choices available for you to make.  You are what you are, this is the end result of a lifetime of bad choices or good moves on your part.  Which fork in the road you took at the time, is now the final tally in the sum total of your life.

In other words, your horizons are now somewhat limited.

I always get a kick out of youngsters, not small children mind you, but people in their early twenties.  They look at you with perfect skin, bright shiny white teeth, and they tell you of all the things that they are going to do with their lives.  It is all cut and dried to them, they have it all figured out, all road mapped on the road of the future they are ready to jump off and get started.

They talk with great enthusiasm of all the mountains they are going to climb and the oceans they will cross in order to discover the meaning of life.  They seem to have the distinct ability to see what is down the road, to look around the corner, and find the nugget of truth they are seeking.

Such is youth, and life as it were in the now, as they put it.

If you are my age, you know life’s’ journeys much, much differently.  So you smile, you pretend to attentively listen and in a small way agree.  Knowing full well, that it aint necessarily so.

On most days, about the best I am capable of, is unfolding my deck chair, plopping my butt down and watching life roll by.  Not that I no longer have the energy to face the day, I frankly just do not want to suit up for the game.

Most of my adventures, accomplished and scratched off my bucket list of important things to do, has been fulfilled and put away.  Like some old rustic relic of a time gone by, they are now secreted in the cavities of my mind and safely stored and locked down.

Next year I reach the golden platform I have been groomed for all my life, I reach Social Security retirement age.  All our lives we have been told that this is the carrot on the end of the string and when we hit this magical number our lives for the most part were to end.

That we are supposed to enter into that twilight time of life, when all work stops, and you concentrate all of your energies towards rest, leisure time activities, world travel.  All of this funded by your younger coworkers, the government, your former employer, and if lucky, what is left of your savings.

From my own standpoint I see this as foolish, dangerous and downright wrong.

Having been retired (early) for a long time, I can tell you, that is the dumbest thing you can do, is to just shut down completely and stop working.  You will age rapidly, your cognitive abilities will go into steep decline and the quality of your life will stagnate and erode.  Really makes one want to look forward to those “Golden Years” doesn’t it?

Most of us want a clear cut winner in life.  We all want that one winning ticket.  Here it is, you want to live a long, prosperous and rewarding life?  Then don’t stop working.  If you want to get the absolute most out of your retirement, strive to find something to do that you enjoy and then go for it.

If you don’t buy into any of this, fine, come on down, unfold your deck chair and sit on the porch with me, there is always room for one more.  I am for the most part, kind of set in my ways, and I’m sure I am not going anywhere, at least any time soon, that is.

On the other hand … If it is your desire to stay on top of the retirement senior citizen pile of life, find something you love to do and then get up each day with the attitude of I am leaning to love what it is that I am doing and of course,  I love what it is that I do.  Then get busy doing just that.

That type of mindset is the key, this is the winning ticket.

OOO

2 thoughts on “No More Mountains To Cross

  1. I was relatively young when I first became unemployed. The hardest part of no longer participating in the working world was the guilt. Having worked so hard, for so many hours per day and having my identity wrapped up in my businesses I found myself with no real purpose except to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. Sounds ideal, but I was not prepared for the instant change.

    Now 12 years later I can say with certainty being unemployed (retired sounds so final) is a pretty neat thing. I do what I want when I want and that includes my gardening, working on my bus and cars, doing some travel, and being pretty satisfied with all I have done. Most of what my wife and I accomplished was so far beyond what we imagined when we first got married 50 years ago it still boggles our mind.

    My bucket list is small. That doesn’t mean we are sitting in our rockers waiting for the dirt nap, it just means our satisfaction now comes from doing the things we enjoy daily and the fact we no longer feel we have to travel to the right places, dress the right way, or maintain a lifestyle of the rich and famous. We aren’t used up either. I am still starting new ventures although I am no longer motivated by money and I am not going to let anything dominate my life as businesses did in the past.

    I’m looking forward to visiting with Boxcar Okie on our trip out west next year. We can compare our medicines, our various illnesses, lie about our sex lives, and generally complain about the next generation and how things are going to hell in a handbasket. It’s what old farts do.
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    A great comment Jon, thanks for chiming in on what it is like. Twice the time and half the money is what I always say. BUT IT IS GREAT.

    Don

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  2. I can’t see myself running out of projects, tasks and enjoyable indulgences (like writing) for the rest of my life. I am content and have good health, so the sky is the limit. I look forward to FD retiring too. We’ve traveled a lot but still have plans to see more of the world. As for the young kids with plans, well, we were there once too… we thought we had the world by the tail. We were unstoppable. Now we sit silently and let them talk of dreams and plans and how it’s going to be. We hear them talk and rave about their kids knowing full well, all of that is fleeting and prone to change. I’ve cut back a few notches on being hell bent to get things accomplished, but I still have dreams. And I still have plans. I’m just more flexible now, and I realize it’s not necessarily going to be the way I initially plan.

    You probably should have hung those holiday lights last week. Now the wind is blowing and the temps are colder… egad!
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    Goooooood gosh, tell me about it, all the little reindeer are laying on their sides and the wind is nipping at my nose! I have to out there today and do the “icicles’ and I am not looking forward to it at all. You are right … shoulda done it sooner, like maybe …. August.

    Great comment by the way.

    Don

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