For some time now I have been feeling my own mortality. I don’t know if it’s the increasing stiffness and aches and pains, or the multitude of wrinkles that weren’t there a few weeks (or has it become years, now?) ago, but I’m feeling the aging much more than I used to.
Then I made the mistake of visiting one of those “when will you die” sites which said I’d die when I was 61 (I think I did it when I was 59!) and I was pretty freaked out. But 61 came and went and I’m still kicking, so I don’t know if I am on bonus time, or it was a bogus thing (ha! Much more likely bogus! Duh!)
Anyway, I’ve been trying to remember that none of us are guaranteed ANY amount of time on this earth. Only the good Lord knows, and He’s not tellin’.
That’s part of what is driving me to do as much traveling as we can while we can. I’ve been telling Mr. Tattered for awhile now we’re just one doctor’s visit away from learning that we won’t be doing any more going, and he’s finally embraced the concept.
Today we got the news that a friend of mine from Mt. Shasta, a man by the name of Tom Moore, had passed away in his sleep. My understanding is that they are surmising he had a heart attack. He was 62. My age. He was trim and athletic. He may have had a family history I was unaware of, but from the looks of it, he was the picture of health.
I’m sure he had lots of things he was looking forward to.
And now he’s gone.
I’m not even sure how to process it.
It is not feasible to live every day as if it is your last, as good as that sounds. You’d never get anything done. I would certainly not spend it cleaning house or going grocery shopping, or making repairs. And in life, those things need to get done. I wouldn’t even spend it traveling. I guess I might have a piece or two of cheesecake, spend time with my family, some “private” time with my husband. Most of the things that seem so important right now would not get a second thought.
Even if we want to spend the bulk of our lives doing all the things we want to do before we die, most of us are not independently wealthy. We have to have the money to raise our children, save for retirement. Being able to spend large amounts of money on travel when our families are young is not feasible. It takes saving for many years to have that that ability.
So how do you balance living for today and saving for living a great tomorrow when there is the chance that tomorrow might never come?
I’m not sure I know how to answer that. Or that there is “AN” answer. I’m guessing it will be different for everyone.
We took a chance and spent the early years of our lives scrimping and saving and planning for the future. We had fun, but we watched our pennies. In doing that, we set the groundwork for a comfortable retirement.
Along the way, we’ve gotten lucky. We opted to defer gratification and save for the tomorrow we wanted, and so far that’s worked for us. It could easily have gone the other other way. One of us could have died way too early. We’ve been able to retire early, and have gotten a head start on the tomorrow we saved for. We have no idea if we’ll be around long enough to do all the things we want to do. All the things we saved for. But we’re going to try.
Even before today, we’d heard the stories about people waiting too long, and not being able to do the things they wanted to do together. We already knew we needed to be living the lives we wanted to be living. We’d stepped up our travel plans, made plans for a little house remodel, and when we’re not traveling, we spend as much time as we can with our family.
We’re as ready as we can be for whatever is to come.
Today doesn’t require a change in direction for us, or even a change in attitude. We’ve taken care of what we can control. Today just validated that we are heading in the direction we want to go. We’ve done a lot. We have more planned. If tomorrow never comes, we will have had good, full lives. That’s about the best any of us can hope for.