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Chatterbox: Time to find the time


Delaying happiness isn’t a good plan; this we know. Still, it’s very difficult, for some more than others, to garner the charm and grasp the fun of life. It’s affected by everything political and geographical that each of us deals with daily to be sure, but even in America, where we are still blessed with opportunities to indulge our inner child and entrepreneur, many of us delay fun.

In my high school there was a teacher who grew to gain some international fame. Here at Chatterbox, we’ve talked about him before. This man let no grass grow under his feet … well, that’s hard to do from a parachute, anyway.

During World War II, he jumped out of an airplane and found out that he liked it. He continued to do it periodically throughout his life. As he crept into his very senior years, he rolled it back, but right up until he turned 99, he did it annually for his birthday. This gentleman led several lives, and enjoyed them all while remaining responsible. Such should be the tagline for life for all of us.

Today, it’s hard to feel the zeal of life. We are so busy creating stability, keeping up with the rising cost of simply being alive, and getting through it daily, that we back burner lots of the things we promised ourselves we would do, try, or make a hobby, passion, or fulfilling route to a second income of.

We’ve all seen our young people not doing lots of the world experience things that would benefit them in so many ways such as understanding the world and its history, or being able to relate to, even enjoy, other nations’ people, their habits, cultures, and religious and political beliefs. They postpone experiencing even fun things ... maybe like jumping out of a plane ... to solidify their education and mold their character and secure their career.

These things, and so many more formidable reasons to delay many life experiences, are all very justifiable, of course. These are the things we must do to get where we are all going. Still, even those of us who do find time to travel or take our kids on great life journeys, know that we, and our children, are forfeiting much of what we wish to do in order to do what we feel we must.

There’s a shirt that says, “Life’s short; eat dessert first.” It’s a cute bit of silliness, but there is some depth there as well. Sadly, too many of us, even those who are doing fairly well, pass on too many of our dreams to accomplish our more pressing life goals. We are good students, become solid members of society with soluble incomes, marry, and raise nice kids who also go on to become solid citizens. It’s hard and it’s a great accomplishment, but is it enough?

Yes, we treat ourselves to a vacation. We can do that even inexpensively by hiking, camping, and staying stateside, and that’s great, but what about that book we were going to write? That needs doing, and many of us older folks will share that life goes by in a blink.

Nothing will mean we cannot achieve our dreams, but it’s so much nicer if we do it while we’re still on this planet to enjoy it. Emily Dickinson only modestly published eight poems before her family organized and released the bulk of her work after her death. She’s in very good company for fame after death. Many greats didn’t live to see their impact. Vincent van Gogh died without recognition but his work has been impressing generations.

Sure, I shouldn’t talk; my computer is loaded with work looking for a publisher, but we’re all waiting for something more than getting through our day. Finding time and, yes, maybe even indulging in that glimmer of self-indulgence, to make our dreams a reality is a tough sell even to ourselves. But times-a-wasting.

Get going ... and, uh, yeah, me too. None of us is alone here.

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