As the seasons change and the days get shorter, time marches on. I’m not getting any younger, in fact none of us are. So, on this meloncoly note, I offer the following reflections (to everyone in general and my kids in particular):
Life in general:
- Consider it a long distance run and not a sprint. Run it at your own pace, enjoy the scenery. Take some breaks when you need them but don’t stray too far off the path that you chose. By the way, make sure you pick a path and change paths as needed. but Have destinations in mind but don’t fear detours (unless they are harmful dead ends).
- Do whatever you are working on with gusto. This also applies to causes and endeavors that you feel passionate about. Get passionate about something. However, when “the thrill is gone” (to steal a line from blues great BB King), consider moving on to other endeavors. Stay fresh, don’t get stale. Always have a Plan B concerning work/career, life style and even people. BFF’s today may not be forevers. Sadly they pass away physically, others pass away emotionally or just disapear into the mist of life eaking out an existance of eating, sleeping, working, raising kids, making money or following other priorities (some good, some not so good). Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, especially with very ominous storm clouds on the socio-economic-cultural horizon. Don’t be the person that “hunkers down to ride out the storm” when the hurricane is advancing.
With regard to marriage, life partners, soul mates or whatever we are calling long term committments….
Conside the following advice if you are getting serious about any of the above situations:
- Make sure you are on the same page concerning attitudes toward finacial matters. Savers and spenders mix like oil and water. They don’t. Beyond the save vs. spend issue, also think long and hard about financial goals (buy vs. rent, turtle vs. hare, risk tolerance, transparency, etc.) and attitudes about money/wealth/debt and expectations. Do you both want to become “rich and famous” or are you comfortable just surviving, being minimalists happy with “3 hots and a cot”
- Be on same page concering children and child rearing. It’s obvious that this is important but it still needs to be said. This included natural birth or adoption or opting to not have kids.
- Be on the same page concerning health and fitness. You don’t have to both be world class athletes but bad habits while young guarantees miseries (physical, financial) when old.
- Run in the opposite direction if any of the following situations (even the hint of these situations) exists:
- Addictive/destructive behavior (alcohol, narcotics, gambling, abusiveness be it physical or psychological, hoarding, self centeredness or any mental/emotional health condition for which the other person will not recognize and take appropriate action be that therapy and/or medication). Being aware of the 7 deadly sins (sloth, gluttony, lust, greed, wrath, envy, pride) should be a giant warning light.
- Growing up it never occurred to me if the other person was liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican or unaffiliated, rich or poor. What seemed to count was good times. Life evolved around movies, dinners and parties. But that doesn’t sustain a lifetime committment. And especially now if you’re rowing in different directions in thought, speech and philosophy, you are destined to drift aimlessly and ultimately sink.
- If you think you might “change” the other person who exhibits any of the above listed characteristics, do not deceive yourself. Do not “settle”, do not “excuse” behavir unless you want to live your life in a constant state of purgatory.
- Avoid what I call “the drift” and “the compromise”. I define “the drift” as meandering through lifes decisions, relationships and careers. There should be a healthy amout of spontinaity in life but remember that you are the captain of your ship navigating through the channel of life. I define “the compromise” as settling when it comes to people, jobs, careers. Make your decisions based on what you need on your own timeline not because of external forces and influences based upon what others think you “should do”.
So that’s my advice as the sun sets, the days get short, the temps drop, and winter approaches and storms of all sorts loom on the horizon. These reflections are swirling around in my head as I embark on my memoir entitled “Exit Interview: A memoir of family, friends and acquaintances”. I would love to hear of your reflections and observations so comment on http://www.dunnsriteswell.com. If you have suggestions and insights, let me know. I need help as I formulate my Exit Interview memoir. Stay tuned for more announcements concerning what will be my second book. Maybe this blog will motivate you to start your own memoir. I recommend memoir writing no matter what’s your age. If I can assist with this process, that I would be honored and delighted to help.