When you daydream, what are you doing? If you could retire right this minute, what would your next step be?
We are working longer. The cost of living is rising minute by minute. We are afraid we won’t have ‘enough’ when we need it one day, so we work harder and we work longer. We work second jobs. Ask any college student what their plans are after graduation, and 9 out of 10 will probably say, “to make money.” If you asked them if their chosen profession aligns with their dream job, probably 9 out of 10 will answer, “no.”
It’s hard to tell a college graduate that life is short when they have so much of it ahead of them. So let’s pretend I’m not talking to them right now. I’m talking to those of us who are in the last 10 – 15 years of our working (we hope) lives. Now, I ask YOU, “Why are you working all the time? Do you really take the time to enjoy life, or are you putting in all the hours you can so you can enjoy the “golden years?” These days, there is so much stress in our lives that many of us are just not making it to that so-called “golden time” of our lives. So, when all is said and done, for WHAT have we been working so hard and sacrificing our joy?
I ask ~ What if you died today? Or tonight? Have you really LIVED?
My big brother, Bobby, was a bass fisherman. He was happiest when he was on the lake. Whether in the foggy midst of early morning or the cooling orange yellow shades of sunset, he found peace on the water. Unlike many fisherman, however, for Bobby, fishing was not just a hobby – it was part of his future plans ~ he dreamed of going PRO. He never just “wet a hook,” he applied science and fishing strategy. He became the fish. He constructed a notebook filled with diagrams of special “fishing holes” on the lake, which piers and docks, what time of year, what kind of plug. The book is a work of art, really. He knew which of his hundreds (thousands?) of lures to use in which conditions or location. And he caught fish. When he pulled in after a day of fishing, it was always exciting to look inside his coolers to see what he’d caught! After a long day of fishing, Bobby snored like a freight train, but I bet his dreams were filled with 8 and 10 pound stripers just leaping into his boat!
Yes, Bobby dreamed of retiring as soon as he was able ~ and fishing on the Bass Pro circuit. If he had lived long enough he might have realized his dream, but he didn’t. My sweet loving Big Brother died suddenly of a heart attack, at age 55, while making preparations to go fishing the very next morning. I still miss him so much my heart actually aches when I think of him. I miss his jokes, and the way he laughed at them louder than anyone else did. He was my protector, my brother, my father, and my friend. But most of all, my dear brother taught me something very important about life.
If it gives you JOY, and it doesn’t hurt anyone else, DO IT. Don’t WAIT for your dreams to come true. Enjoy your dreams NOW. The “once in a lifetime” trip you’re planning for next month or next year may never come. My brother fished his heart out every chance he got, and he planned to live out his “golden years” doing what he loved most. Although he didn’t make it all the way there, he did enjoy the journey.
May we be so lucky.
RIP Bob. I love you.