Nothing in life is permanent. Nothing. Not life itself, not family, not friends, not possessions, not health and certainly not our sanity (sorry, that was a little humor to lighten up the harshness of these first few sentences). The knowledge of this impermanence is something we all know deep down inside our hearts and minds, but may not fully realize and think about until age begins its trek northwards. I may have mentioned this in other blog musings, but I am somewhat of a minimalist. Over the years, I’ve found that extraneous “stuff” just didn’t have the meaning it once had for me in my youth or even in my middle age. Stuff really just does and didn’t matter, (plus, I kind of like order too which is most likely from my military and law enforcement backgrounds). So, over these past 10 or 15 years, I’ve been in a constant state of purging…only keeping things that have and had any real significance or importance to me. But, of course, I’ve always known that these things too are impermanent. Some of my favorite books, my climbing, mountaineering and backpacking gear, photos, and other small extraneous odds and ends are all neatly tucked away in a small spare bedroom in my apartment. Interestingly enough, as much as I’ve moved around the country in the last 15 years, I’ve had about half-dozen yard sales which has netted me a nice little bit of cash in the process. So, I guess it seemed my unneeded stuff went to other peoples need FOR stuff. Oh well, to each their own.
The point for all this is now that the New Year is only several hours away, I’ve decided to make a mental paradigm shift. Not a severe or an about face shift, just a moving to or a progression towards things of importance. I’m not a “New Years” resolution type person and never really have been, but the past few years for me has seen quite a few changes (some good and some not so good) and I just want to start out with some firm goals and changes in mindset and attitude.
I’ve decided to begin asking myself several questions…the first being, “is this thing really important to me and will it serve the greater good in my life”. Now, I’m not being selfish here, just realistic. Not to use the age old cliché, but life is just too darned short to worry about all the extraneous bull crap that always attempts to enter into it. The second question is, “do I have control over this?” and if I do, I’ll deal with it. If I don’t have any control over it, then it’s all in God’s Hands anyway. For me, it’s as easy as that. I have way too much to deal with in my own life than to be worrying about or being concerned with politics, junk news, the newest fashions or social media trends or what some celebrity’s view on the life may be. Honestly, I really just don’t flippin’ care as the mental act of worrying about things like these, or worrying in general is an absolute life killer. What I do care about is what my impact will be on my life and other’s lives and how I can add value to them. Again, to me, it’s just that simple…how can I truly add value and goodness to mine and other’s lives?
So, around the mountain and back to permanence….
These so called “twilight years” issues are another load of garbage being fed to us to lull us into inaction and inactivity. Don’t buy it, not for one second. Sure, our health can somewhat wane over time and we have to deal with that, but no one, and I mean NO ONE, has ever laid on their deathbed and said, “I wish I could have spent one more day at the office”. The knowledge of our life’s impermanence should fire our butts up to live positively for ourselves and for others. Get out…do things, travel, write that blog or book, spend time with your loved ones, volunteer if you can, go on that hike or climb that mountain, cook something new or try out a new restaurant, sleep on the beach, love others and leave a positive impact on them and their lives. Do it now, for tomorrow is not guaranteed.
So, yes…get out and live folks. Permanently remove all the extraneous and unimportant “things” from your lives and live for the greater good.
Remember, life is a one shot deal. A. One. Shot. Deal.
So, think about it…what are YOU going to live for?