Every few months there is a situation or event that compels me to reassess myself. With the impending death of a very close friend and mentor, I am giving myself the “once over” – once again.
My friend’s illness has been rather quick, but not a complete surprise. I will write a “Remembered” piece at a later time.
Depending on how closely you follow my articles, you may already know I am quite a few years below the mean age for bloggers on liberty and other such things. I have learned several lessons through my life that have been foundational to my development and help me to build a life to where I am now. I will focus on only one of them here.
Don’t let life goals become retirement goals.
I worked as a nurses’ aide for several years. I started in the nursing home, worked my way through the Acute Care Unit, Critical Care, Emergency, then back to Hospice and Long Term Care. For most of the years I worked in the hospital, I worked the night-shift. While it was very uncomfortable at many times, it offered a type of connection to the patients I never had during busy days. More times than I can recall individually, I sat in the chair adjacent to the patient’s bed while I was told stories of children and marriage and divorce and building a home, losing a home. I was the passenger to many lifetimes of memories. Of all the relived consciousness, two types of people stood out to me: the people who lived their goals and the people who didn’t. The people who lived their goals laid in their death-bed and did not fear the end of life. Those who did not live their goals laid in worry, uneasy about going to sleep for they may not wake back up.
“Goals” are personal to each of us. I cannot judge these individual’s goals as better or worse than any other person’s. I do not have the power of omniscience to judge if Bob’s goals were greater than Sue’s. I cannot say Carla lead a more accomplished life than Larry. Although I did observe some parallels between these two classifications, I could not begin to assess that – it isn’t my responsibility to do so, even if I could.
As I continue building my homestead, running a business, and furthering my education towards a professional aspiration, I now take a break on my day of rest. As I look out the windows that surround my desk, I am reminded of the land I love. I am pulled back out of the lofty clouds of hopes and dreams to be planted squarely in reality. Too easily I default to a position of delayed gratification and do not gratify my accomplishments, today! With my feet on the desk and my chair leaned back – coffee in hand – I must close my eyes. The cool breeze carries the smell of pine and bear grass. The birds sing a chorus now that the spring rain has ended as the sun appears on the horizon.
The worries can wait. Live your life. Life goals become retirement goals. Then, you’re dead.