How I came to the conclusion that some day should be to day.

A few years ago a friend of mine said something to the effect that he had come to the realization he’d better do the things he wanted to now because who knew what was going to happen next week or next month or next year that would physically keep him from going and doing and experiencing what he had always wanted to do. He didn’t say it in that kind of a run-on sentence, one where you lose all hope of ever emerging, but I’m paraphrasing. Just go with me on this.

My first reaction was ‘Well, that’s certainly an uplifting thought to brighten my day.’ My inner thoughts are frequently sarcastic that way, only occasionally do I blurt them out. At the time his comment seemed at best morbid and at worst downright cynical-pessimistic and I shrugged it off to the grumblings of a grumpy old guy. He’s seven years older than I am after all. Unfortunately, and I really hate this about him, he foretold an epiphany I would have a few years later. He was right, nothing is promised.

After a few health conditions convinced me of my mortality I think I finally get what he was saying. Maybe down the road won’t ever happen. Maybe we’ll be alive but unable to do the stuff we want to do, or hope to do at that point in time. The problem is it’s simple to say carpe diem (Seize the day), but not easy to do. Maybe if we’re around on the day we won’t be able to seize it or even remember who the heck we are that day or what we were going to seize. And I wonder what that realization means for me. Where does that leave me now with my life, my family and my career?

I think it means that I better hurry up and go where I want and do what I want because nothing is a given. I could drop dead tomorrow, lose my job, lose a family member, lose my lustrous head of hair or whatever. If I don’t appreciate those things and therefore wait for the time to do them; they may be gone. It’s frightening and exhilarating at the same time. It makes me want to capture every moment out of every day and do stuff maybe at my age I have no business even considering doing.

Time, along with death and taxes (and Doorbuster Sales!) will continue no matter how hard we try to stop it or slow it down. No matter how much we try to engineer our lives, in some elemental ways, we’re just along for the ride. Go ahead call me a grumpy old fart but it’s the truth. In some respects, if we’re completely honest with ourselves (a big IF, I know) we have to admit we live our lives betting on the promise of tomorrow because that’s when everything will be done. Tomorrow is when everything we’ve ever really wanted to do will come together since we’ll have all the time and energy or the resources to do it. Am I right?! Can I get an “Amen”? I break a sweat just thinking about this stuff.

The rub is that I’m 52 and I’m just figuring this out. Had I come to this realization 30 years ago, imagine the things I would have done. I say this hopefully because I know that youth is wasted on the young and there’s that whole procrastination thing. Now that I’m an old guy although I may have the money to get there I can’t climb Everest. Since my kids are grown I might have the time to write the novel but who has the brain power? (Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a defeatist approach. I know you’re saying, “Well, you moron, you’re writing this. Suck it up, grow a pair and do it.” But don’t you think you’re being a bit hard on me? Come on lighten up, I’m being vulnerable here.) Okay, that got a little weird but sort of makes my point about the whole cranial capacity issue! But where was I? Oh right, right, coming into wisdom too late.

At this point all I can hope is that some of you reading this are younger and or have the faculties and means to get out there and do the things you always wanted to do. If so, then somehow my experience will not be in vain.

I said at the outset that I hope that my epiphany can be instructive or at the very least life changing (Yes, I’m kidding) but here’s the bottom line. Don’t do what I did. Don’t come up with a raft of b.s. to justify why you can’t/won’t make a move. Don’t perpetuate the lie and find yourself where I’m sitting figuratively speaking. Because I sit a lot now that I’m older. But we’ll talk about that another time. Good luck.

Despite the disjointed ramblings of an old guy I hope you found this instructive and will take it to heart. I do believe we shouldn’t wait so much. If you liked it and know someone that might need to hear this advice, please share it with them.

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