You can't put things off forever before they are gone

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vito

Hunter
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
2,719
Most here are probably familiar with the Harry Chapin song "Cat in the Cradle" about being so work obsessed that a man not only misses his son's growing up years, but misses developing a real relationship with that son. But many of us probably put off other things that seem important to us because of the pressures of work and daily life. And putting things off until a better time can work, as long as you don't wait too long. When I was younger I wanted to learn to fly, but with four kids born in 7 years money was always very tight. For years I told myself that before long things would be more stable and I could finally sign up for those flying lessons, but it never happened. Just today watching a video about powered hang gliding the thought actually crossed my mind that maybe I can try that this summer. And then I thought, who I am kidding? I'll be 79 in a few months, have at least my share of ailments such as two bad shoulders, artificial knees, arthritis in my hands among other issues, and realistically there is no way that I could handle the physical demands of that sport. I just waited too damn long for this as well.

For years, or decades, I worked long hours. I promised myself that someday my wife and I would get to travel, visiting among other places a handful of national parks that I always wanted to see. Well, I did get to do this, but by time I did it I was just another old guy sticking to the paved paths, feeling a bit jealous of those young folks traipsing off onto the mountain trails. I've told my grown kids, but they are still young enough to pretty much pursue anything that they might want to do, not to make the same mistakes that their Dad made. But one just lost his job and is focused on nothing else right now. One is dealing with some problematic issues with their kids. One feels financially stretched with having 3 in college at the same time. No one ever grabbed me my the shoulders and said "You don't live forever! Just do it before its too late". Even if really knew that deep in my heart it might have been enough to get me moving had I been forced to face it directly. So I've pushed my kids and I smile thinking about how its working out for them. One went off to Hawaii with her whole family, even though it was a financial stretch, saying it just couldn't wait much longer with the kids reaching college age. One has made several long road trips to the national parks, and hiked the trails that I am no longer able to hike.

Maybe this just sounds like "first world problems" but its very real for me. If you're 40, 50 or even 60 and reading this, and it flashes through your brain that you really do have that burning desire to do a certain something, or go that special place, don't put it off until you 79.
 

Colonialgirl

Hawkeye
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
7,580
Good Advice !!
Hope those younger than us follow that advice and enjoy those dreams while still able !
 

mk70ss

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
61
I learned a long time ago. You only have so many days here and you never know which one will be your last. Live like each day will be your last. No regrets.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
1,445
I'm mid 60's but have had this desire to do a full iron triathlon. I have a roughly 18 month plan to get there, going to start with a 70.3 in spring of next year and hopefully ready for the full in fall of 23.
It's a very selfish thing to do but my wife's ok with it and nobody else really counts. It's a one shot deal, sort of one last dance for an aging body.
Hopefully "life" cooperates with my plan.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2007
Messages
7,566
Dave P. I hope you get to complete the full triathlon. That's quite an ambition.

I hear ya. I always wanted to ride a bicycle across the country. The idea started when I was in college on a road trip with a friend, and our car broke down in California. We briefly considered selling the car and just bicycling back home to Missouri. Now I don't think it would happen, and I am sorry about that. But there are other interests, so it really isn't a big regret; I have fulfilled several life long dreams. I just hope my daughter grows up and is able to pursue her dreams.

Great post!
 

dweis

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
62
I am 79, and I did not out off doing the things I wanted to do. My second of 2 kids graduated college in 2002 just after my 60th birthday. I worked until April of 2003 when I hit 61. I quit the job, took early social security, worked some freelance photo gigs for extra cask. The big bonanza came when I was 65 because I got Medicare and my VA benefits supplemented that. A lot of money saved not having to buy health insurance. Since then, I have had a fine life doing mostly what I want to do, as long as I can afford it. I’ll be 80 on 4/27, fourunately have good health, and looking forward to more good and enjoyable years. I agree with the OP. Don’t put off enjoying yourself.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,005
I actually was smart enough at a young age to listen to my Dad,, AND a few other "old timers" about living life while you are still able to do so. My first wife wanted me to "get a job, work until retirement, then travel & look." I told her; "Life has to be experienced, not looked at. There are NO guarantees of tomorrow. And our health & age may not allow us to DO things."
We didn't last but a few years until we parted ways. And while it was a struggle sometimes,, I DID do the things I desired to do. My Dad had said to make sure your bills are paid,, and then experience life.

So, I'd set some goals for myself. Before the Army,, I wanted to learn (3) things while I was in. Hang Glide, Skydive, and scuba dive. Well, hang gliding in Tx wasn't happening,, so I enrolled in glider training & got to fly gliders for a while. I also entered Central Texas College for my Private Pilot's license. Skydiving,, I was able to wiggle myself into Army Jump School. The last thing,, scuba diving,, I enrolled in training with about 7 months left in the Army.
Of the (3) things,, I took Scuba to heart. I kept going & became a Master Instructor Trainer. I still dive. I wasn't able to afford to keep flying,,, or skydiving. But I was able to dive a lot.
After the Army,, I added a few more things to my "Goals" list. (What some folks now call a bucket list.) By the time I was 39 years old,, I'd reached my life's goals.
Since then,, I've set many smaller goals,, as I can easily look back & say;
"I'm glad I did,, instead of,,, I wish I had."

I've added a bit to that. Saying that I've lived a good full life. But God has allowed me to hang around,, so that maybe I can share with others my experiences & education. With that,, I can say I've mentored many young boys onto their path to manhood via my 50 years in the BSA.

So, I too agree,, DO NOT put off living life while you still can. I have an old T-shirt that says; "Only those who experience,,, truly live."
 

turd

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
711
One thing about doing it while you can is you may not be able or care to save money your whole life. I did what I wanted to when I wanted to, and I have no regrets. I also don't have a huge savings account or many investments, as I spent the money doing "my thing". My wife and I are happy with what we have and are not destitute, but also not wealthy. How much are memories worth? I always wanted a hemi powered vehicle and now we drive an SRT8, which is a lot of fun, and gets good gas mileage. :D Will we live forever? No, and I don't want to. We love each other after 40 years and still have fun. Go for it, you won't regret it.
 

mistermills357

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
766
I managed to see a few places and to do a few things, but a lot of my life has been disappointing. But at 66, I don’t mind, I have a few years and I hope that I live them in peace.🥸
 

blammer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
189
Good advice above. I was a workaholic, but I made sure my kids got to experience all kinds of different things while they grew up (like sports, band, some summer camps). Only thing that saved me from complete work-no-play was my mother made us have a family reunion every 2 years. Me and brothers got a turn at hosting the reunion. So my family got to see lots of the country over decades.

Balance is the key. Plan to do things, but don't go crazy expensive all the time: once in a while is ok. Even weekend trips to places around your area are good.

As you get older, it's sooner rather than later that you may not physically be able to do everything, no matter how much money you have.
 

Rook

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
Messages
712
That song inspired me when it first came out back in 1974. My oldest son was 4 years old at the time. I spent the next decade making sure I was at every baseball and football practice and games. I coached his team in basketball and baseball. I attended all of his practices and matches when he was boxing in the Golden Gloves. We spent a fortune on motorcycles and traveled all over the country Moto-X racing. I sat outside the studio for every one of his guitar lessons over the years.

I think it was time and money well spent. He is now 52 years old and the owner of a commercial real estate and investment company. He plays guitar and sings occasionally as time allows in some clubs in Knoxville and Nashville. He attends all of his sons football and baseball practices and games too. He plays and sings Cat's in the Cradle very well too. He mentions that from time to time. He's thanked me many times for a great childhood That's all a dad could hope for.

Now for the past couple of years we haven't see each other very often due him caring for his wife battling stage 4 brain cancer and I had been taking care of his mom here in GA for 2 years before she died of stage 4 lung cancer this past October. The good news is my DIL is now in remission. Hard to believe since the tumor was bigger than a golf ball when it was discovered. Evidently that new proton therapy works wonders along with the chemo. My wife wasn't so lucky her cancer had spread all over before it was discovered.

15 years later my youngest son came along. He was not into team sports as much as his brother but he was into piano and martial arts and loves to go shooting. I never missed being with him at his lessons and we spent a lot of time riding trail bikes and playing tennis and time at the shooting range. He, his mom and I spent a lot of time traveling when he was a kid. He also loved computers when he was a kid and now he works for a large computer company north of Seattle Washington where he handles sales strategy in North, Central, and South America. Living 3 thousand miles away now I don't see him very often but we talk a couple of times a week on the phone. He's 37 years old now and he and his wife decided to not bring a child into this world. I think they made the right decision. This world is not what it was even just 30 years ago.

As far as that burning desire to do something that you mentioned I don't have it any more. I'm 72 and the love of my life for well over a half century has just died and the kids are all grown with their own problems. Now it's just me and due to my heart problems for the past 4 months I've not even had a chance to have a memorial for my wife. Her ashes are setting here in her urn near me as I wear this heart monitor trying to find out why I'm as dizzy as a drunk monkey when I stand up.

It's been a good life but now it's just life and it's not good. Maybe I'll get the old fire back if I can ever kick this light headedness and quit living in the past every hour of the day.
 

Selena

Hunter
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
2,772
When Dave left the army Dad took us into his office and pretty much told us that a real advantage of staying on the farm was being able to include our children in our everyday life. As usual... Dad was right. Not as much discretionary cash involved but the children have a mom and dad.
 

Texas Yankee

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 15, 2022
Messages
1
Regardless of what we did or didn't do up till this point in our lives, it's either done, or not done, but there's no changing any of the past - complaining about the past or worrying about the future is pointless - hopefully we learned lessons from our actions or mistakes, or maybe we are in a better position now than we would have been if we'd made other decisions - but what our life is now is what it is, and the only changes for any of us are gonna happen going forward - the past is behind ya - leave it there!

For me, at 72, with many more years behind me than ahead of me, it comes down to this - enjoy what I CAN do and don't waste time bitching or complaining about what I can't do, due to my bad shoulder or some other physical, financial, or logistical problems.

And for everybody that's so good at patting themselves on the back for all the good decisions that they made earlier in life that put them in such a good position now - how many of those good decisions were due to luck, or being in the right place at the right time, or parental influences, or "a rising tide floats all boats"?
 
Joined
May 12, 2003
Messages
232
I feel this - so much. My Pop - Bob Campbell had a life changing, debilitating stroke at 58 years old. So for me, I decided that I would retire at 60 and LIVE LIFE the way I want. Put in my notice with a 5 year plan, no surprises. My employer knew when I was going, My family knew when I was going, and I had a pretty hard date. That day is 4/21/22

After that I have scheduled a speaking engagement at the NRA-ILA Ohio state rally, Riding my motorcycle ( still think I am taking the bike) to Atlanta for a Brian Hill - the Complete Combatant firearms class, and hosting the NRA Concealed Carry Fashion Show in Houston on the 28th of May.

This is going to be my best 2A life.
 

Swampbilly_2

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
74
I actually was smart enough at a young age to listen to my Dad,, AND a few other "old timers" about living life while you are still able to do so. My first wife wanted me to "get a job, work until retirement, then travel & look." I told her; "Life has to be experienced, not looked at. There are NO guarantees of tomorrow. And our health & age may not allow us to DO things."
We didn't last but a few years until we parted ways. And while it was a struggle sometimes,, I DID do the things I desired to do. My Dad had said to make sure your bills are paid,, and then experience life.

So, I'd set some goals for myself. Before the Army,, I wanted to learn (3) things while I was in. Hang Glide, Skydive, and scuba dive. Well, hang gliding in Tx wasn't happening,, so I enrolled in glider training & got to fly gliders for a while. I also entered Central Texas College for my Private Pilot's license. Skydiving,, I was able to wiggle myself into Army Jump School. The last thing,, scuba diving,, I enrolled in training with about 7 months left in the Army.
Of the (3) things,, I took Scuba to heart. I kept going & became a Master Instructor Trainer. I still dive. I wasn't able to afford to keep flying,,, or skydiving. But I was able to dive a lot.
After the Army,, I added a few more things to my "Goals" list. (What some folks now call a bucket list.) By the time I was 39 years old,, I'd reached my life's goals.
Since then,, I've set many smaller goals,, as I can easily look back & say;
"I'm glad I did,, instead of,,, I wish I had."

I've added a bit to that. Saying that I've lived a good full life. But God has allowed me to hang around,, so that maybe I can share with others my experiences & education. With that,, I can say I've mentored many young boys onto their path to manhood via my 50 years in the BSA.

So, I too agree,, DO NOT put off living life while you still can. I have an old T-shirt that says; "Only those who experience,,, truly live."

I actually was smart enough at a young age to listen to my Dad,, AND a few other "old timers" about living life while you are still able to do so. My first wife wanted me to "get a job, work until retirement, then travel & look." I told her; "Life has to be experienced, not looked at. There are NO guarantees of tomorrow. And our health & age may not allow us to DO things."
We didn't last but a few years until we parted ways. And while it was a struggle sometimes,, I DID do the things I desired to do. My Dad had said to make sure your bills are paid,, and then experience life.

So, I'd set some goals for myself. Before the Army,, I wanted to learn (3) things while I was in. Hang Glide, Skydive, and scuba dive. Well, hang gliding in Tx wasn't happening,, so I enrolled in glider training & got to fly gliders for a while. I also entered Central Texas College for my Private Pilot's license. Skydiving,, I was able to wiggle myself into Army Jump School. The last thing,, scuba diving,, I enrolled in training with about 7 months left in the Army.
Of the (3) things,, I took Scuba to heart. I kept going & became a Master Instructor Trainer. I still dive. I wasn't able to afford to keep flying,,, or skydiving. But I was able to dive a lot.
After the Army,, I added a few more things to my "Goals" list. (What some folks now call a bucket list.) By the time I was 39 years old,, I'd reached my life's goals.
Since then,, I've set many smaller goals,, as I can easily look back & say;
"I'm glad I did,, instead of,,, I wish I had."

I've added a bit to that. Saying that I've lived a good full life. But God has allowed me to hang around,, so that maybe I can share with others my experiences & education. With that,, I can say I've mentored many young boys onto their path to manhood via my 50 years in the BSA.

So, I too agree,, DO NOT put off living life while you still can. I have an old T-shirt that says; "Only those who experience,,, truly live."
I wholeheartedly agree with the original post and your thoughts here....also a life belief I've tried to adhere to.

I once worked at a company....our Senior Manager was a great fellow...did a lot in encouraging and supporting me in a key support role I held within our team....one of my favorite managers ever. You could tell he was really committed in his job there....often burned the candle at both ends for the company. Sure, he and his wife enjoyed simple pleasures with each other....they both loved to dance...time with family. But, their "big" plans for travel and extended vacations, were often viewed as "something they would do when he retired."
Well, while I was working there, that retirement for him came. Sid was a slim man....no where near overweight....seemed to be in good health. He announced his retirement...we held a retirement party for Sid and a few days later he was off for his next phase in life.
Two weeks later, he and his wife are both out with friends at a local dance they frequented. Sid and his bride had just finished having a dance together......Sid returns to their table.....announces that he is feeling tired.....suddenly lowers his head to the table and his gone - died immediately of a massive heart attack.
Gone....two weeks after the retirement when they were both so looking forward to beginning the "big plans" they had largely put off until Retirement.

I learned a lot from that, and have always tried to budget to afford taking that trip, while still young and can better get out and engage in activities...not just sit there and "be old" in a different place. I have taken trips afar even if it meant going alone. So often I see people not take a trip because they had no one to go with.....at times like that, I go anyway and have an open mind to interact with people there and have met some interesting acquaintances that way.

There will be activities you may have wanted to pursue that you may not be able to do when you're old.. Like Contender, I too had an interest in pursuing Scuba Diving (sparked by my love for Sea Hunt TV programs as a kid), and trained and started that activity many years ago, even though I had no friends sharing the same interest. Continued to do that for the next 10 years. I met some new friends that way and three of my existing friends...motivated by me scuba diving and talking about it....began the sport as well. Then we went on a couple of diving trips together.
 

KIR

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
175
Dweis, you just edged me out...I won't be 79 until May. I am a baseball fan of the ANGELS and I want to see Trout and Ohtani play at least until 2030...and I plan on doing it too!!!
 

bobski

Hunter
Joined
Oct 18, 2012
Messages
2,794
my goal is to get more than 1 shooter from RF to attend my shoots. lol!
 

powder smoke

Hawkeye
Joined
Aug 16, 2005
Messages
6,333
I managed to see a few places and to do a few things, but a lot of my life has been disappointing. But at 66, I don’t mind, I have a few years and I hope that I live them in peace.🥸
Wow sorry to here that! Hope thing get better for you! My life has been pretty good.
Hope things turn around for you! Good luck
 

mistermills357

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
766
Wow sorry to here that! Hope thing get better for you! My life has been pretty good.
Hope things turn around for you! Good luck
I’m in pretty bad physical shape, and I tend to be too blunt, and it is a fault.
But at my age and condition, it’s just a matter of living out my years, and remaining faithful to Christ.

You would not believe the difference between me at 66 and me at 26 years of age. A real transformation has taken place, and it’s not all physical. I was pretty hateful at times when I was young, but a lot of that is gone.



I remember when that song came out, and I really liked it, and it’s so true.
 
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