Live for Today – Routinely

I recently came across a wonderful quote: Dream as if you will live forever, live as if you will die tomorrow. – James Dean

My reaction wasn’t to immediately consult my bucket list (I actually don’t have one) or pick up a copy of 1000 Places to See Before You Die. Instead, I asked myself, how would I literally spend today if I was going to die tomorrow? Should I spend it sky diving? (No need to bother signing the waiver form!)  Squeeze in a visit to see the incredible World Heritage site Angkor Wat? (Do I buy myself more time by crossing the International Date Line?)

Actually, I wouldn’t do either. I would want my penultimate day to be just a routine day – which I consider to be a perfect day. My routine day starts out with a visit to a mountain preserve to get some exercise. If I am lucky, I’ll spot some hot air balloons off in the distance or come across a hawk or rattlesnake (yes I actually enjoy spotting a rattler). I come home, have breakfast and jump on the PC. After taking care of any pending personal business, I work on my Retirement Journeys projects.  After lunch I catch up on my reading and maybe take a brief nap. Then it’s happy hour followed by dinner. Evenings may include visiting with friends, listening to music, or catching up on some recorded TV. But the biggest reason that I love my average, routine days is because I am fortunate to be able to spend them with the most wonderful person I have ever known – my wife. So while it’s unlikely that I’ll ever challenge the Dos Equis character for the title of most interesting man in the world, I do feel that I am one of the most fortunate. So my fondest wish for tomorrow  is that it turns out to be another routine, perfect day.

In closing I want to share a few of quotes. The first appeared in our Sunday paper. It comes from Froma Harrop. “The greatest regrets of dying people focus on personal ties. For example, neglecting old friends, wishing they hadn’t lived the life others expected of them. None cited not having rafted the Mangolky River or missing out on the fire dance festival in Bhutan.” The next quotes come from an article that was sent to me by a member of the Retirement Journeys community: “Americans Over 65 Shared Their Greatest Regret in Life – and the Most Common One May Surprise You“.  Here it is. “I wish I hadn’t spent so much of my life worrying.” The author, Karl Pillemer, professor of human development at Cornell University, leaves us with a comment from June Driscoll, a 90 year old living in a nursing home. She said:  “It’s my responsibility to be as happy as I can, right here, today.”

Thanks June. I completely agree!

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