Life’s one big to-do list; regret is when you’re too old to check items off the list.
That’s the only thing I can come up with, five years out of college. Now that life has settled back to normalcy, after a crazy week at work and getting organized from the trip, I’m happy to say more and more items are getting checked off my list. Running a 5k anytime soon won’t be one of those, but one has to know one’s limitations.
I’ve always been a fan of projects. And there are always a few going at once. Recycling has an e-waste drive coming up, and I’m in charge of our printed materials. I just bought a new bike to replace my old one, which means the Falling Water Trail will be explored. All my vacation materials need to be organized into a coherent whole. I still have to organize my year of Rotary.
…on and on it goes.
That’s life, right? We’re never done living, unless we give up early. But I’ve got too much to see. Now that I’ve covered our wonderful country’s four corners, there’s still Alaska and the Gulf Coast states to explore. And some foreign countries.
Barack Obama has seen his share of foreign countries, unlike our sitting president. I don’t trust people who haven’t seen some share of the world. Their view is narrow, and their conversation dull. A president who has seen the world, and has learned something from it? I guess we can be thankful both candidates share the similarity.
Unlike our president, Obama grew up in a fractured family, was raised by his grandparents, and had to wonder what life would be like if his parents stayed together. In other words, he’s now considered a “normal” American, despite the awkward name, and I trust him more than some rich ape from Massachusetts who lived a life of privilege but takes to wearing cowboy hats when it suits him. But this isn’t the place for that rant.
No, this is to realize that there are too many great things to do on Earth to be holed up in some dark room watching a glowing box while kids play frisbee outside.
When I played outside at Walden, a 90 year old man taught me that you’re never to old to go swimming. Who can argue with that? By paying attention to the birds that sing in the spring and to the flowers that bloom in my grandma’s lush garden, I’ve learned that you’re never too old for anything. Or too young.
Some of my friends know this. My little brother made a gamble: he moved out to California with his girlfriend and now lives an interesting life. I couldn’t be more proud. And his sister is moving to Pennsylvania on another gamble that I know will pay off, too. I wish her (and Jimmy!) lots of luck.
Rapture could come any day now. There’s no excuse not to say “To hell with this,” and move to a different state to see what else the wide world holds. It’s another item on life’s big to-do list. Your friends will be there when you get back.
So will the TV. Which is why you should shut it the hell off and get some fresh air. Life’s too short. There’s a chilly pond somewhere in the wilds of New England just waiting to greet you. It waved to me, and it waved to a guy who sat on its shore for two whole years and thought and wrote and tended his beans. He lived.
Thoreau’s to-do list was probably longer than his life granted him. It’s a tragedy, but it’s the case for most of us.