Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.
Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?
–Our Town, Thornton Wilder
Usually, it’s not hard for me to think of ideas for posts here on 1500 Days. And even that is a stretch because I don’t have to come up with them; the ideas come to me. Sometimes, when I’m out for a walk, I’ll come up with 5 in the span of just 20 minutes. This is why I have hundreds of posts in draft:
But last week, I was trying to come up with an Ask the Readers posts for today and couldn’t think of anything. I started to freak out just a little and then this came to me:
So yeah, it’s Thanksgiving here in the states. This is the holiday where we’re supposed to contemplate all that we’re thankful for.
I originally came up with a list of stuff:
- My health is better.
- I have more time with the children.
- Mrs. 1500 is finally learning to live in a house that’s cooler than a sauna.
- Blah, blah, blah…
All of that stuff is good and important, but it’s trite and obvious too.
Boring. Not challenging. Phoning it in.
If you’ve taken the time to come here to read my silly thoughts, I owe you something better. I owe it to myself too. Here we go.
Life is Great
What I’m most thankful for is that I now have the time to contemplate my life. I like to do this on walks. And I walk a lot; at least 6 miles per day.
On some days, I think about what I’m having for dinner. Mmmmm, turkey! Soon…
On other days, I look around and soak up my surroundings.
On other days, I get all deep and consider my mortality. And if there is anything you should take away from my words today, it is this:
Contemplating death is the best way to feel alive.
Most of us don’t really appreciate our lives until we’re near the end or we’ve had a brush with death. If you were diagnosed with a terminal disease, you’d savor every minute. You’d look at every sunrise, sunset and everything in between as a gift. Every. F***ing. Day.
It’s happened to me a couple times.
There was the time the front wheel came off on my road-bike when I was hauling ass down a hill. The fork planted itself in the asphalt and I went flying into the air. I had no protective gear on; I wasn’t even wearing a shirt, but somehow came away with no serious injury.
Another time, I went into a corner a little too hot on a motorcycle. I came thisclose to losing it and crashing into a stand of trees. I was able to recover and bring the bike to a safe stop and was unscathed, physically anyway. It took me a while to stop shaking.
And leaving work has caused me to contemplate my life as well.
It seems counter intuitive, but being free of a job has made me value every minute more than I ever have. My sense of urgency has kicked into overdrive.
I didn’t expect it.
But now, I realize it’s because I feel accountable for every minute. When I had a job, my mindset was that those 8 or 9 hours, Monday through Friday belonged to someone else. Now that they belong to me, I appreciate them much more. I don’t want to waste any of them.
I think I’m better off with this new mindset, but I also feel more pressure. I must do good with this gift of early retirement.
And I’m thankful that I’m able to figure my life out. Walking around aimlessly, but at the same time, letting my brain gnaw on random and sometimes deep thoughts is incredible. I’m better for it.
And most of all, I’m thankful that I now have more of the most valuable resource in the world, time. I’m not wasting any of it.
What are you thankful for? You don’t have to go all deep like me. If you need help:
- What has made you happy for 5 minutes this year?
- How is your life better in 2017 than it was in 2016?
- Tell me one memorable moment from this year?
Join the 10s who have signed up already!
Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.
*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.