Their premise: ridiculous obstacles, crooked paths, bizarre circumstances, recalculation foibles to overcome – be a SURVIVOR.
That concept sells because ‘survivor’ is a thought construct, feels like a suitable metaphor for reality, for our own lives: ridiculous obstacles, crooked paths, bizarre circumstances, recalculation foibles to overcome. On that basis, I consider myself a SURVIVOR.
Whether we are 21 or 91, we are survivors of what life threw us.
Yet we know we’ve not done what we are fully capable of, not stretched as far as we could.
If life is to have true meaning, we can’t quit.
Can’t slow down.
MARKing another tree-ring (66 today) I’ve survived nearly disastrous, absolutely marvelous and thrill/spill moments, life-threatening, life-altering joys/pains/learning.
A friend, he’s a little further down the chronological path, pointed out recently that ‘life can be seen as a yardstick, and we should ask where we are along that stick’. His son proposed that metaphor, convincing him to ‘hang up his skates’ on his work life, his passion, his driving force for decades. He says he’s convinced. I don’t see it that way. Not sure my friend should either – but, that’s for him to decide.
I don’t see my path ahead in terms of ‘short time left’ but rather ‘much road to travel’. As I get older I realize I’m seeing more opportunity than ever. Not as something I’ve missed, but as “wow, what ideas to my teeth into”.
We don’t abandon stalled cars or let them run down to empty, we refuel. Life is like that. Refuel at the refrigerator door daily. Restock at the store regularly. Appetite for food is automatic. But what about our appetite for life? For love? For fixing things? For changing things? For creating? Are these not appetites in search of food too?
Birthdays are time-markers like dashboard odometers, marking distance travelled. Yes, important to notice but not as important as watching how much fuel is left in our tank. My fuel tank rationale is better in my view than any yardstick or reality show.
I have friends who are ill, friends who are gone, friends who will outlive me. Wherever I might put them or myself on that yardstick of life, I see that as a ‘time is running out’ approach, so easy to accept as limiting what we can do, minimizing what we are capable of yet doing rather than setting sights on some star gazing and expedition planning. This past year has been one of assessment, shifting – pivoting into ‘next chapter’, new book, new look, new outlook, ‘daring to go where I’ve never gone before’ thinking.
At moments, but only for moments, I have tiny twinges of regret having not seen more, seen it sooner. Flip-side is ‘see more now’, ‘do something with it’ – not chasing every whim, but chasing some – open to things completely new, or someone completely new. My welcome mat is always out …
Most things worth doing are difficult, reward/validation show up in forms never expected, often what we want seems so very distant, so improbable even though it might be under our noses, a call or a click away …
Accelerate. Get a much longer yardstick, and re-fuel often.
Strategy - now that I have reached my 7th decade, I reflect a lot on whether or not I planned enough. I was a good saver, but was it enough? I invested wisely but who would guess an energy collapse or a real estate decline? I travelled a lot, but did I really go everywhere that I wanted to go? Planning is tough when you are building a career, raising children, making mortgage payments etc., but if I went back fifty years right now, I really would like to create a bit more of a plan for today, GB, Calgary, AB
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