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What Would You Do?


I have a question for you. If you could know how and when you would die, would you take that opportunity to find out, or leave it unknown?

I must say with all the North Korea talk in the news lately, thoughts of death have crossed my mind more than a few times, which got me thinking about the above question. If I had the choice to know how and when I would die, I would take it in a heartbeat (no pun intended.

For me, if I knew, it would free me up to do so many more things. It would allow me not to fear flying or fear heights or any of my many other phobias. It brings Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” video to mind.

As odd as it sounds, I think it would open my life up. If you learned you had a month or a year left, wouldn’t you quit your job and travel or whatever else you wanted to do before your time on Earth were over? I guess if I lived every day as if it were my last, I wouldn’t have these issues, but that’s not realistic, for me anyway. If you don’t know how long you have, you’re not going to quit your job to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Knowing your expiration date would also help you in your retirement planning. If you find out you are going to live to be 100, chances are, you better start socking away a few more dollars into that 401K or investments, because you are going to need your retirement nest egg to last. But, on the other hand, if you only had five years left, who needs retirement? Go buy that Corvette or second home. Enjoy your time before it’s gone.

I know, listen to me, I am basically giving myself therapy … enjoy your time before it’s gone. unfortunately, that’s never been easy for me. I have always been a bit pessimistic, or as I like to say, realistic when it comes to life.

For me, death is fascinating and frightening at the same time. To my knowledge, no one has escaped death. It’s something we will all have to face at some point or another. I envy those that do live every day as if it could be their last. I wish I could be one of those people, but it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I often think there is an age or stage in life when people go from fearing death to accepting that their time is growing short, thus they throw caution to the wind. I think I am getting there, just not quite there yet.

Skydiving, bullriding, taking a cruise … who knows? The sands are running through the hour glass without fail. I don’t want to have the most boring stories in Heaven, or Hell for that matter, so I better get busy livin’!

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School’s Out … Now What?


August 7th will mark the end of my college career, a journey that started nearly 30 years ago. I won’t bore you with the details, but as my time in college has come to an end, many emotions have come over me.

After earning enough credits to finally graduate, I must admit my first emotion was relief. Thank God it was finally over and I would not have to take any additional courses to capture that elusive cap and gown. I also felt a sense of accomplishment. I am not big on following through on a lot of projects that I start, thus this is a major milestone for me. I couldn’t have done it without so many great people in my life telling me that I could cross that finish line. I also felt a sense of pride. As many of you who have worked and gone to school at the same time know, it’s not easy. Schoolwork is the last thing you want to do after yet another bad day at work.

There was also one other feeling that I felt which actually surprised me a little bit … sadness.  I was not sad that the tests and schoolwork were over. No way. I was sad because another chapter in my life was over. I’m sure I would feel differently about this if I were in my early twenties, but now in my early fifties, those feelings have become a bit more complicated. I guess I am becoming more sentimental in my older years.

So, now what? Is this degree going to dramatically change or improve my life? I doubt it. So, what do I do now? I have a few ideas I am kicking around, but the hardest part is getting out there and doing them. I suffer from “analysis paralysis” as they like to say. I try to learn as much about my subject as I can before jumping in. Unfortunately, more often than not, that leads to not jumping in at all.

So, the next few months and few years will be interesting. Time is ticking on that old retirement clock. Yes, I still have some time, but that time to accumulate additional wealth is also ticking.

To steal a catch phrase from Nike, I guess it’s time to “JUST DO IT!”

 

Unexpected Contentment


Anyone that knows me knows I like to bitch and complain. I’m not going to lie, that is true. Battling depression, you have your good days and your bad days. It’s very easy to see the glass as half empty instead of half full.

Well, tonight, anyway, I got a glimpse of the half-full glass.

I’m not sure where this vision came from. With the country going to hell in a hurry, I know my mind hasn’t been happy lately, but, tonight, anyway, I had a wave of contentment wash over me. Continue reading