Do You Live For Yourself – Or Others?
Did you grow up in your hometown, marry young, buy a house close by and stay there for the rest of your life; or did you spread your wings and fly off, finding new places and new friends, living places you chose to move to as the opportunity presented itself and saw life as an adventure? Is one way better than the other? Look at yourself now. Did you do the right thing? Would you admit it to yourself if you didn’t? Would you go back and do something different?
I’m in my mid 60’s. I enjoy my age. I think I’ve acquired a bit more wisdom, and a heck of a lot of determination to finish life pleased with how I lived it. I climbed the mountains and survived – so far. As I look back on my life, each decade I went through was in a different place as well as a different way to survive, staying away from the conventional paycheck and instead relying on my ingenuity.
I know clearly where I was at each development of wisdom. Why me? What made me want to experience newness while the rest of my family felt comfort and security was more important because everything stayed the same? Someone I grew up with once told me she wished nothing would ever change. She’d stay in her house. She said she didn’t need any friends, they were too much bother. Was that her idea of happiness? Looking at her life now what effect did that have on our relationship? Not a good one.
What makes one person want to experience the newness that comes along in life? We have a choice to grab onto it or ignore it. Do we take the chance to make new friends or change careers, or perhaps begin a new hobby, and another person in the same family chooses the safety of only what is familiar, the comfort of routine and the predictability of sameness. Work the same job for decades even though they hated it? For the paycheck? It is worth giving up the possibly of finding a creative part of yourself just to stay in your predictable comfort zone?
It takes all kinds of people to make the world go ’round. There isn’t one perfect way that is good for everyone. I chose long ago to not live with fear of the unknown. Any day could be my last – your last. I would rather leave this life with a smile on my face with the possibility of a new adventure on the horizon. When do you stop living with anticipation? “What if I went there and learned how to do that?”
The real definition of failure lies in never trying; crawling into your routine until you can finally justify your actions by saying, “I’m too old.”
Long ago I developed a mantra and have told it to many people along the way who also have had people in their own lives who had opinions about how they should live their life, even though it wasn’t theirs to judge. “If you don’t like what I’m doing, don’t watch me do it.” I don’t care what other people think about my life, especially when they don’t want to be part of it.
I’ve never owned a home, nor have I wanted to. I want to be able to leave when I’m ready, and I don’t want to have to repair the roof or other maintenance.
I want to be able to choose how I spend my day. Will I ever “grow up?” I seriously hope not. Life should be enjoyed. If you take care of yourself you have a better chance of not letting age bring you down where all you have to talk about with your friends are your medical problems. I will go out with a fight.
Every day you wake up is a day you can fill to the top with things of value. You are what you think. You attract people in your life who appreciate who you are. If they don’t appreciate you get rid of them. They aren’t worth the trouble. The people I grew up with became people I couldn’t be around any more. Or rather, they couldn’t be around me. My mother told me more than once, “You scare them.” Inner strength and confidence makes some people uncomfortable. So I was kicked out of family get-togethers because maybe I’ll say something outside of the platitudes of talking about jobs and weather. I also hate gossiping about the perceived misfortunes of others.
Everyone has a choice about how they are going to live their lives. Some are waiting to die hoping for happiness later. I choose to be happy now – or die trying!