I was sitting here giving fellow CP Mark Whittington Hell for writing an article about Obama’s comment to Republicans to ignore Limbaugh. I wrote the same article, albeit not nearly so well as Mark did, but mine was published first, so I win, right? No, Mark is a pro and can write circles around me in his sleep, but it got me to thinking . . . and y’all know nothing good comes from me thinking!
In ragging on Mark about his superior writing skills I challenged him to do something I am good at. I asked how well he could pilot a 600lb fire belching beast down the hiway, white lining between the cars just to scare the passengers? And therein I struck upon the concept for this rambling. We’ve all made choices in life.
So, where have your choices led you?
It dawned on me that my choices made me who I am. In the last 10 years I have plunked down well over 50K in total for new, fire belching 600 lb steel monsters. Could that money have been used more wisely? You betcha, but could the money have given me as much happiness? And that’s the point. Have your choices in life made you happy upon reflection?
That 50K could have given me a few incredible trips to Europe. How great would that have been? But in my mind such endeavors would have left me hollow. As an Anglophile and lover of medieval European history 50K could have been a great summer in England, or the whole of Europe for that matter.
And don’t some folks, especially the big thinkers out there place a high value on world travel? I mean didn’t they punk Sarah Palin for not being more of a world traveler? Yeah, they did. Hell, I’ve never been out of the US – I have been all over the US, but never out of it. Then again, I am a Conservative, so not being an erudite world traveler fits right into the template of the haters. I’m a Red Stater & a nationalist to them I guess.
But wait, oh big brained – I could have taken a tour of all Europe & even the Middle East for 50K if I’d wished. That 50K would have taken me to see the Great Wall of China too!
But no, I plunked down my cash for a tangible item. I traded the joy of travel and the memories of such an endeavor for the joy of riding those three 600lb fire belching motorsickles I bought with that cash. So I enjoyed that 50K way more than the memories and pictures of a world tour. And that was my life choice.
I doubt I’ll ever be rich enough, at least in the foreseeable future, to own a series of expensive motorsickles and drop $25K on a huge and opulent trip to Europe, but who knows what the future will hold? But given my priorities I know that if I have to choose a trip and pictures & memories or something tangible for that money, i will choose the tangible item every time.
I’m a practical person – I know white lining down the hiway ain’t practical, but it sure is fun! For example, I told my female progeny that I will not plunk down a fortune for a grand wedding and reception. I will however take the money that would be spent on an opulent wedding and give it to them as a down payment on a house. Yeah, I know, not very magical, romantic or memorable, but damn sure practical. That’s my life choice – practicality over frivolity. Tangible things as opposed to photos & memories.
And one’s life choices can be far-reaching. As a young and virile Biker I was all about the here and now. Considering how I lived and the peeps I hung around with, now was all there was. I know many young persons have a fatalist attitude and use that to justify their hedonism and lack of preparation for their future benefit. But considering what I was doing and who I was doing it with, longevity was an issue in doubt.
But I survived and now I reflect. Do I have any regrets? Sure! But not for deciding at 18 years old I wanted to be a Biker. By a few weeks after my 21st birthday I bought my first Harley-Davidson, and off I went. Sure, I could have traveled to Europe a dozen times, but instead I used my time and money to have big fun every single day of my life. My life choices were made with the cognizance that I was picking one path over another.
And now, at 52 years old I am happier than ever. My days of terrorizing everything in a skirt are behind me now. I am married to the best little chickie on this side of the Milky Way, and for almost 14 years I have had the pleasure of her being my wife. I have two wonderful progeny. I own two businesses. I work 20 hours per week. Am I rich? Hell no, but money was never my motivation. Enjoying every day of my life was my goal, and by golly, high fives and fist bumps to me – I have succeeded.
My happiness is not in the few and long awaited punctuations in life – a grand wedding, that great trip, the motor home to tour the nation, a huge house or a cushy retirement. No, my happiness is manifest every morning when i wake up and this little cutie is bringing me a cup of piping hot coffee. Her smile is my reward. Making her laugh is my reward. Loving and being loved are my rewards. And for some reason she thinks I am an interesting character who had the guts to do things she never would have had, but then again, she’s been to Europe a bunch – before she met me, of course.
My happiness is my kids’ happiness. My oldest daughter is fixing to graduate from college. My youngest just bought her first house yesterday and she’s engaged to a great guy who loves her and treats her like he loves her. She has a great job and is very content and happy in her life. My Mom is only 72 and healthy as a horse, so I am fortunate.
And as life comes back around, and at 52 I’m closer to the end than the beginning, I am contented and happy. I am fulfilled in my heart, my house is warm, my tummy is full, and that little cutie just brought me another cup of coffee. Ain’t life grand? It is for me!