Life is for living

August 13, 2009

We are thinking, these days, of quality of life issues. Of how much of the rest of our time we want to spend working. As opposed to having fun.

Work can be fun. But they don’t call it that, now, do they?

I do love to teach. But it IS work.

Writing, on the other hand, doesn’t feel so much like work. But it would if I had a book contract or a goal.

Like most people, our resources are finite and we are now at a stage where we need to decide how we want to spend them in the coming years.

We’ve been looking at large, expensive California homes. And thinking that M. would work at least some hours per month.

We’re liking that idea less. We have choices. And one choice is to have a great quality of life for as long as possible. A healthy, stress-free one. And one that involves lots of travel. The ability to go live in Italy for a month. Or the Keys. Just to zip around as the spirit moves us.

So lately we’ve been talking about a smaller home; conserving cash so we could spend extended periods living abroad, or in other very cool stateside places.

Only one residence, though. We are all over the board as to where that will be. Talk, talk, talking. We know we don’t want to stay in Florida.

Funny thing: I’ve always tried a few things on, then set a direction and aimed myself at it full bore. So when a friend mentioned her “bucket list” the other day, I realized that I’d already gone through my list and done everything that I always wanted to do. The rest is just a bonus.

It’s true. Someone I know well got trapped in the career thing for more than 30 years. A couple of years ago, that person said to me, “I feel that I’ve wasted my life so far, and I envy you, because you’ve always lived your life along the way.”

That made me sad. Imagine not making the most of every moment you are alive.

My dream of living on the Monterey peninsula came true because I made it happen. My dream of teaching came true. I’ve taken a few big trips all by myself. Done several fantastic spa vacations alone. Cruised to Alaska. So many things on my list are now checked off.

And God gave me the best gift of all. My husband.

The thing is to see the possibilities. And to be open when unexpected gifts are presented.

I don’t have to live in a mansion. If I never rode the Orient Express I’d be ok. And maybe my days of quick decisions about targets are over, because this is the most important one.

M. and I are in the process of discussing, masticating and massaging our decision about the future after retirement. Our plan is definitely a moving target at the moment.

And I think it’ll be stronger for it.

3 comments on “Life is for living
  1. Diana Strinati Baur says:

    To be honest, I would get a small place. What do you really need a big place for anyway? Someplace where you can lock the door and not have to maintain it when you go away — that would be what i would do. That is definitely what we are going to do when we finish up this chapter in our lives. The freedom this project gave us to determine our own way of making a living and spending our time was a tremendous lesson. If you want to work, you should and you can, but why have to work to pay an expenses on a large expensive place you don’t need in the first place? Nah! Someplace small and sweet that gives you flexibility! That sounds much better.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. Actually, once all our places sell we wouldn’t have a mortgage on the new house. But I think it’s going to take some time. I’d rather just have my husband relaxed, frankly. Enough work. He’s done with it!

  3. TJ says:

    We have done the same thing. We sold our hugh house and all the land with it. I felt the same thing – enjoy each other as we grow older. You never know what tomorrow holds. We are able to travel south for 6 months each year because of choices. I know you and husband will make the best decisions. To laugh and hold each other is worth millions…

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