As I have gotten older, I have started to see many things differently in life. My Wife, my Child, the people I know, the things I have done and those I have yet to do. Further, I have begun to see certain things as no longer possible, as if age takes them off the table.
There are the obvious things, like becoming a doctor or an astronaut. When you get past a certain point, while not impossible, they become things that really don’t make sense to work towards when you are still at a point in your professional life where you are living at the limit of your means. And while I have recently returned to school for my BS, the idea of trying for an MD or anything like that just seems like too much to put my family through. I would rather focus my attention on my son’s future.
Then there are the little things, at least little in the sense of other things in life. Travel among them, at least the big trips that I see people engage in. To be fair, there are many places I really do not care to go to. Places like Hawaii or the Bahamas, or anyplace whose primary purpose is to expose one’s self to hours of sun and the potential of skin cancer or severe sunburn. Likewise, I find no interest in going places with large populations of free-roaming people that, usually, have no interest in being polite to either each other or the aboriginal people of the place they are visiting. Good examples of this are places like Seattle, Paris (France, not Texas), London, Miami, etc… These are all places where the people to personal space ratio, at least to me, are oppressive.
Then there are amusement parks. These are places where, I suspect, that you go to if you either have children or are potentially sadistic. Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Knott’s Berry Farm, etc. The population there is so overwhelming to me that I need to take regular breaks just to de-stress from being overwhelmed. How anyone, again… without children… can go to these places and call it fun or entertaining, is beyond me.
But the point of this article is more about the things that I look at that I consider no longer possible for me. The places and things I would love to have done and seen in my life that, in all practicality, are no longer possible. Like visiting the Alps, seeing the place that my Scottish ancestors called home, going to Antarctica, touring the lesser-visited parts of Europe. Going on a Walkabout in Australia. Seeing Terra del Fuego from the deck of a ship.
I do not regret most of where I am, now, in life. I think I have done OK both for myself and my family. Having never broken any laws (that anyone knows of, anyway.) nor ever been to jail or prison, and I have not done anything that has made me a pariah in any parts of the world. My wife and son have found no reason to run off or kill me, yet. My mother has not disowned me and I consider myself to be of relatively sound mind and body. So there is a lot going for me there. I do have a few regrets about the things I have not done, but that is fine. Who doesn’t have SOME regrets about the path they took to get where they are in life?
The point I have been trying to, circuitously, get to is this. The list of things I still might have a chance to do in life is getting smaller. If you are reading this and you are still young, get out and do the things you think you might want to, while you can. Family? Take them with you. If you have to go into a little debt to accomplish these things, do it! it’s only money and you can make more. Life… that you cannot get back. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.