I am currently in my mid-60’s. During that time I have been; Single, Married, & Divorced, each for about the same length of time – approximately 20+ years. In my younger years, the focus was education, career, and then love. Got married, had children and I was now a husband and father and that was my focus. After almost 20 years I became unmarried and the focus became healing and becoming me, again. I’ll always be a father, but my children are grown and don’t need me the way they used to (that was the goal from the start). For almost 5 decades I had jobs and a career, but that evolved into retirement (also, the goal from the start). If you learn from an experience, it is never a waste, even if the lesson is “Don’t do that again!”. It’s all grist for the mill. Each phase of my life is preparing me for what’s next, IMO.
Time is Money
About 10 years before retiring I formulated a plan to roam the land. How exactly to do that was considered, a lot. Some plans were more fantasy than real, but as the time drew near to make a decision, the details became more solid. Thoughts of being a motorcycle vagabond and sleeping wherever I could, in a tent, gave way to buying a van to tow a travel trailer. The motorcycle is still part of the deal, but it’s hauled in the van rather than ridden from campsite to campsite. I love riding motorcycles, but my body would not long thrive sleeping in a tent. And, besides, I like being clean so daily showers are required. Can’t easily do that while camping in a tent. Reality pushes aside fantasy. Side note: One lesson from my college days was not learned in a classroom. Between classes I was chatting with Mr. Butler, the metallurgy instructor, about working on cars. As a poor college student, if my car needed fixing, I had to do it myself. Mr. Butler told me he never works on his cars. Rather, he does what he loves doing, gets well paid for it, so he can pay other people to do what he does not love doing; i.e.; fixing cars. My takeaway from that lesson is that enough $$ can make your life easier. When possible, I will pay someone to do what I don’t like doing, or cannot do myself.
As written about in previous posts, I just finished a 49 day cross-country road trip. I visited many places, took lots of pictures, spent time with family and friends, and met many other people along the way. Overall, the experience was awesome, but could have been awesomer if I had a traveling companion (a human, not a pet). Most people enjoy being with other people, including me, and most activities are more enjoyable with others. If it’s just me, I generally don’t make the effort to do some things. For example; I like s’mores. but they require time and effort to do right. A fire, ingredients, suitable sticks, etc.. For me, that is a lot of effort for the one s’more I would eat. But, add people, and it becomes worth it. Who does not enjoy sitting around a campfire, with friends, roasting marshmallows and squishing them between Hershey bars and graham crackers?
I’ve been pretty much a loner for the past 20 years so have grown to enjoy my solitude. That has worked well for me so far, but now I am doing things (traveling to new places) that are more enjoyable when shared. I do not know the future, but am looking forward to seeing how it plays out.