I’ve worked in retirement homes before. Whereas I’m not the resident expert in aging, I’ve listened to their stories.
Some old folks die with tons of regrets. Some die all alone and in pain. Yet others have beautiful, radiating smiles. It’s those last folks that I enjoyed talking to the most. They figured out how to really live life and made the most of it. In their last years, they have nothing left but memories.
That said, those memories will be good memories. You really hope that they die without degenerative brain diseases so they can get those last few years out of really fondly enjoying them.
Most people forget to live
I don’t have much sympathy for people who are obsessed with money and forget how to live. Money is great and all, but for me it’s just a tool. I want a lot out of life. Those folks are so boring in real life that we simply can’t be friends with them.
Plus, they do several of my pet peeves like stiffing their servers. As a former waiter, that shit pisses me off.
There will come a day when your health will deteriorate. I told a younger friend of mine earlier this year that if I got in a fight with the 30-year-old version of me, he’d knock me out within 10 seconds. That’s not an exaggeration. That’s life.
Look at athletes for instance. The drop off comes fast and it comes brutal. One year, the guy’s an elite player. The next year he’s lost a step. The next year, he’s retired because he can’t professionally pull his weight.
Unfortunately, the same happens to all of us. Our bodies fall apart. There will be a day when we’re nothing left but memories. What will yours be?
What will your kids say at your funeral?
Think about if you have kids. What will they say at your funeral?
I’m older now and unfortunately I have been to a lot of funerals recently. The kids who had good parents talk about the memories. Think carefully about that. Give your kids memories. Once again, more important than money.
I have utmost respect for people who figure this out young. I’ll readily admit that it took me over 40 years to figure it out.
Go make some memories
What do you want out of life? If you have to, make a list. Heck, stick it on the fridge. Then, start doing them one-by-one.
My wife and I have a list of places to go. Of course, we’re allowed to change it. For instance, we were going to go back to Italy next summer but my wife didn’t like the heat last time. So we changed Italy to Poland. We’ll hit Italy again when it’s not the summer.
My wife isn’t a heat person. Whereas I’ll gladly spend half a day in the Caribbean waters, that’s not my wife’s thing at all.
Travel doesn’t have to be your thing. I’m not you and you’re not me and that’s a good thing. You and I will have a different bucket list. That’s fine. You and I are unique people.
Start knocking off pieces from your bucket list one by one. If you want to make some good memories, can you think of a better way?
By the way, we released a dance song a few days ago. Yes, we’re a Metal band, but for one, I love to step outside my comfort zone. For another, you’ll catch me at a dance club every once in awhile dancing until it shuts down if I’m with the right people.
I wrote Princess for the Night for a dear friend of mine. One of these days, she’ll model for my paintings. She modeled for me before I knew what the hell I was doing and my drawings didn’t do her justice at all. She’s quite gorgeous.
That’s the thing. I’m doing what I want to do in life. So many folks make excuses why they can’t. They range from everything from “I don’t have the money” to “my spouse won’t let me.” All of those excuses are complete and utter bullshit.
“I don’t have the money” means you’re not using your creativity to make it work. “My spouse won’t let me” means you’re blaming someone else for your failure to do something.
Fix that shit. This is your life we’re talking about. What could be more important?
About the featured image
Now about the picture, that’s the main square in Venice, Italy. Venice has some of the coolest architecture on the planet.
We’ll be going back for the Carnival within the next few years. My wife and I are knocking off our bucket list piece by piece.
I’ve seen contradicting lists, but generally, Poland ranks near the top in countries that like Americans the most. I’m a very simple man. If you like me, I like you. If you don’t like me, I don’t like you. I’m not going to try to win over someone who doesn’t like me. That’s a waste of time. I’d rather support someone who likes me. So we got a travel budget every year and we’re going to spend it accordingly.
I’ll of course take pictures and post them on this blog, and write about the places we hit. Croatia is also a must see. We’re definitely going back there too. I need to write more about Croatia one of these days.